Progress Energy Foundation Gift Benefits USFSP Initiatives

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 3, 2011) – The University of South Florida Foundation today announced an $185,000 gift from the Progress Energy Foundation to benefit three separate programs within USF St. Petersburg and the University of South Florida. In addition, Progress Energy announced that it will continue its ongoing support of the Oceanography Camp Especially for Girls at USF with a new $10,000 gift. The gifts are part of the $600 million USF: Unstoppable Campaign.

The $185,000 gift from the Progress Energy Foundation will be directed to three projects within the USF System. At USF St. Petersburg, the SunBay Digital Mathematics Project will receive a $125,000 gift and the C-SPACE Programs and Outreach Initiatives will receive $50,000. At USF, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon team will receive $10,000 for its continuing efforts.

“At Progress Energy, we are proud that through our foundation we are able to continue to support education advances that are vital to maintaining a vibrant community,” said Vincent M. Dolan, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida. “The SunBay Digital Mathematics Project is improving how young people develop math skills. That’s crucial to developing the future workforce our state needs to grow and prosper.”

Joel Momberg, CEO of the USF Foundation, said the USF System is grateful for the continuing support from Progress Energy and the Progress Energy Foundation.

“The Progress Energy Foundation and Progress Energy continue to make a difference for people throughout the Tampa Bay region,” Momberg said. “They do so in many ways including through their support of Pinellas County teachers and students and by a commitment to the local and global environment.”

USF St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Margaret Sullivan said the gift will strengthen educational outreach by the university to public schools throughout Pinellas County.

“We are grateful for the support from the Progress Energy Foundation for these two key programs at USFSP,” Sullivan said. “The SunBay Digital Math program and C-SPACE have seen success in their initiatives and this support will broaden their reach and impact on the community.”

Success in mathematics, particularly algebra in the middle grades, is directly correlated with future success in the learning of advanced mathematics and science. The SunBay Digital Mathematics Project is designed to impact mathematics teaching and learning for more than 3,000 middle school students each year by improving how middle school teachers teach mathematics.

Support from the Progress Energy Foundation will allow the College of Education at USF St. Petersburg to strengthen the sustainability of the SunBay Digital Mathematics Project through the graduate training of additional middle school mathematics teachers in digital mathematics. The pilot began with a cohort of 10 middle school teachers from Pinellas County Schools completing a certificate program in Middle Grades Digitally Enhanced Mathematics Education. The additional funding will support a new cohort of 25 teachers.

“By supporting this project, the Progress Energy Foundation continues to demonstrate its strong commitment to excellence in education throughout the state because we foresee the outcomes of this project having an impact on education in all of Florida,” said Vivian Fueyo, dean of the College of Education. “We were excited to see middle school students in Pinellas County that participated in the pilot project had statistically significant learning gains in important algebraic topics.”

With the support of the Progress Energy Foundation, C-SPACE will fund graduate research; a community discussion series; and an Adopt-a-Class program with Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg. C-SPACE members will also develop working relationships with nonprofit environmental groups as part of their educational outreach.

A report released in February 2010 detailed the 12 initiatives C-SPACE completed since its inception in 2005. These initiatives focused on fate, effects and remediation of pollutants; society and policy; data management, modeling and analysis; monitoring and analytical support services; and education and outreach.

“We are excited about these new initiatives, and view our outreach activities as a natural extension of our research mission and an important responsibility of our center to the citizens of Florida,” said Melanie Riedinger-Whitmore, associate professor of biology and C-SPACE director.

The USF Oceanography Camp Especially for Girls is run each summer by the USF College of Marine Science and gives middle school girls from around Pinellas County the opportunity to get their hands dirty doing the work of marine scientists. Now starting its third decade, the Camp has a legacy of success directing girls into science careers.

The Solar Energy Decathlon team at USF is taking part in a national competition that will culminate this fall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The competition requires teams to build energy efficient houses that utilize solar power.

The USF: Unstoppable Campaign is a comprehensive fundraising effort by the University of South Florida System to celebrate the energy, vision and future of one of the country’s most exciting and engaged universities. Our people and programs, our ideas, our research and our solutions comprise an ambitious plan to enhance health care, science, technology, education, business, the arts and global partnerships. Visit the web site at

Progress Energy invests in a wide variety of local organizations and initiatives to add overall quality of life in the area it serves. Grants focus on education, the environment, economic development and employee involvement. During 2009, Progress Energy invested nearly $10 million in the communities it serves.

-USF St. Petersburg-