Dorsey Serves as Environmental Justice Ambassador

Joseph Dorsey, assistant professor of environmental policy, has been selected as a Coastal Environmental Justice Community Ambassador by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Gulf of Mexico Alliance.

As an ambassador, Dorsey will support efforts to engage and work with Florida’s vulnerable populations, populations along the Gulf Coast that pose the greatest risk of environmental impacts.

“I hope that through this position I can use my expertise and resources to reach beyond the classroom,” Dorsey said. “The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is a powerful network of state agencies working on behalf of the Gulf’s future. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Dorsey attended the annual conference of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance in August; over the next year he will attend meetings and offer advice on state programs that focus on communicating environmental impact risks to underrepresented communities. He will participate in discussions on regional evacuation planning and serve as a consultant within a network of professionals working on issues surrounding the Gulf.

Civic engagement has been an important part of his courses on environmental policy and his role as an ambassador may create involvement opportunities for students.

“When students come to USFSP, they don’t just listen to lectures, they’re engaged,” Dorsey said. “We’re connected to the community, the community is connected to us. Our borders are porous and there is constant movement.”

Dorsey’s teaching focuses on environmental policy and its implications at local, regional, national and global levels. His research interests include: brownfield redevelopment and greenfield protection; resource use and environmental degradation in developed and developing nations; corporate environmental decision-making for pollution management effectiveness and eco-efficiency; and empowering communities to participate more effectively in sustainable development initiatives.

Digital Math

Pinellas Teachers Enhance Mathematics Education with Technology

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Eleven middle school mathematics teachers from Pinellas County schools developed technology-based lessons this summer to help effectively teach every child that enters their classrooms.

Their work, completed during the first part of a five-course certificate in Digital Mathematics at the College of Education, involved approaching mathematics problem solving with computer applications, web resources and group collaboration. They used an interactive SMART Board, a teaching and presentation touch screen that allows teachers to write on projections in digital ink and interact with applications.

“This was a methods course designed to have teachers teach mathematics in a different way than they may have in the past,” said George Roy, assistant professor of mathematics education and the course instructor. “For their culminating project, the teachers created a lesson for their classroom which addressed the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.”

The teachers presented their projects Aug. 4 to business leaders and a representative from Progress Energy, the organization that funded this first course through a grant, allowing the teachers to complete the course for free. The lessons delved into mathematics problems by first using digital applications to explore mathematics concepts. Their students will use applications to understand concepts such as probability, patterns, and equations to then collaborate with classmates and develop solutions for practical applications.

The content is tied to SunBay Digital Mathematics, a collaborative project among the USFSP College of Education, SRI International and Pinellas County Schools designed to increase student achievement on the major topics of Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State mathematics standards for grades 6 to 8.

“This whole age of students, they’re used to being immersed in technology and we have to keep up with them as teachers,” said Bridget Bohnet, a sixth and seventh grade teacher at Clearwater Fundamental. “Every child has different needs. This is one more strategy to engage every child because the more hands-on these lessons are, the better. Depending solely on lecture-directed teaching is obsolete.”

The SunBay Digital Mathematics project ties to science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives in the strategic plans of the College of Education, the school district, and the state of Florida. Vivian Fueyo, dean of the College of Education, serves as the principal investigator for the SunBay Digital Mathematics project.

“Success in mathematics and science in the middle grades correlates with future success in the advanced mathematics and science required for access to college and to success in careers such as engineering,” Fueyo said. “Success in school and access to higher education also has impact on the economic development of the region and the retention of intellectual capital.”

The teachers in the certificate program will continue their program with another course during the fall 2010 semester. Concurrently, a new cohort of middle school teachers will be trained in the digital mathematics approaches being studied in the SunBay Digital Mathematics program.

To learn more about the SunBay Digital Mathematics collaborative or if you’re interested in funding tuition costs for the teacher participants in the Digital Mathematics certificate program, please contact George Roy at (727) 873-4646 or royg@mail.usf.edu.

Stavros Family Contributes to Planned College of Business Building

(St. Petersburg, Fla.) June 21, 2010 – Gus A. Stavros and his wife, Frances Stavros, grew their generous and longstanding commitment to USF St. Petersburg and the USF System with a $125,000 gift toward a conference room in the planned College of Business building at USFSP and a $150,000 gift to endow entrepreneurship scholarships. Their gift toward the building has the potential for a dollar-for-dollar match from the Florida legislature.

The Stavros family’s continued philanthropic investment in Pinellas County’s only public university has created educational opportunities for students through scholarships and enhanced resources. Their latest gifts to support the university’s growing College of Business will enhance the university experience for undergraduate students in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Mr. Stavros serves on the Florida Board of Governors and is a former member of the USF Board of Trustees and the USFSP Campus Board. His and his wife’s commitment to education is unending, encompassing business education for elementary school students, fiscal responsibility for middle school students and educational opportunities for Florida’s future educators.

“It is imperative that we support our universities in a time of waning public resources,” Gus Stavros said. “Frances and I believe that the solution to the ills of the world is education, and we are proud to support USF St. Petersburg’s future growth.”

The Stavros family gift is the largest contribution thus far toward the campaign to build a permanent home for the College of Business. In recognition of the gift, the dean’s conference room in the future building will be named The Stavros Family Conference Room.

The College of Business at USFSP earned the rank of 36 among the global top 100 schools for integrating issues of social and environmental stewardship into the MBA program and is the only Florida institution on the list. The Global 100 list is compiled by the Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes research survey which analyzes how well MBA programs incorporate social, environmental and ethical issues into the training of future business executives.

The college serves more than 2,000 students in its undergraduate and MBA programs and is accredited by AACSB International, the premier accrediting body for schools of business worldwide. Less than one-third of U.S. business schools are AACSB accredited. The Program of Accountancy is separately accredited through AACSB, giving the college a dual accreditation held by only three percent of business schools its size.

“The Stavros family gift permits us to provide the best possible educational opportunities for our students,” said USFSP Regional Chancellor Margaret Sullivan. “With this support USF St. Petersburg will make a critical difference in the future of our graduates and the local community.”

For more than two decades, Gus and Frances Stavros have upheld a commitment to education as a civic and philanthropic leader in the Tampa Bay community. Gus retired in 1989 after working 30 years to build the largest forms manufacturing company in the Southeast. A 1948 graduate of Columbia University and a World War II veteran of Patton’s Third Army, Stavros’ list of honors and awards include honorary degrees from three universities; leadership awards in business and education; and economic education centers named in his honor.

The Gus A. Stavros Institute of Pinellas County administers Enterprise Village and Finance Park, which are nationally prominent programs teaching free enterprise and economics to 17,000 fifth graders annually and fiscal responsibility to14,000 eighth graders annually.

“We’re honored to have the Stavros family support the College of Business through this gift,” said College of Business Dean Maling Ebrahimpour. “All of us at the College of Business strive to create a positive climate of learning and achievement. This gift will have a significant impact on these efforts. We appreciate the trust the Stavros family has placed in this strong and developing college.”

Students Host Hands Across the Sand Site

(St. Petersburg, Fla.) June 18, 2010 – With the devastating oil rig explosion and spill still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico and the unveiling of the American Power Act in Congress, a group of University of South Florida St. Petersburg students are expressing their opposition to offshore oil drilling and showing their support for clean energy.

The students will be among thousands of people to gather throughout the world Saturday, June 26 as part of Hands Across the Sand, a movement to raise awareness of the effects of offshore oil drilling. Hands Across the Sand advocates for the adoption of clean energy policies and protests lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling. The USFSP students have collaborated with environmental student organizations at St. Petersburg College to set up adjoining Hands Across the Sand sites.

USF St. Petersburg Students Host Hands Across the Sand
Saturday, June 26
11:30 a.m. – 12: 30 p.m. (Joining hands begins at Noon)
Treasure Island Beach at 104th Ave

Stephanie Lawler, president of the USFSP Student Environmental Awareness Society, is working with fellow students to host the club’s Hands Across the Sand site on Treasure Island Beach at 104th Ave.

“We are showing our support and uniting together to say no to offshore drilling. We need clean energy now.” Lawler said. “As USFSP students, we live on the coast and we don’t want to see our resources torn apart. We’re at a breaking point of our resources. We have abused our resources and now we’re losing our fisheries and waterways. This is a positive way to show we are joining together to be one united effort.”

Over 3,000 people in the Tampa Bay area participated in similar demonstrations in February and even more are expected on June 26.