The Pinellas County Legislative Delegation met at the University Student Center Wednesday and heard strong support for the construction of a building for the College of Business and continued funding for SunBay Digital Mathematics.
Interim Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth welcomed the lawmakers to their first delegation meeting at the University Student Center. He said it has been an important addition to the campus that would not have been possible without the support of lawmakers. He also asked the legislators for their support for a building for the College of Business, the No. 1 new building priority for the USF System. The college is now spread across six buildings, he pointed out, which hampers communication and collaboration.
Two College of Business students, Lazar Anderson and Josh Moushon, also urged lawmakers to support a College of Business building.
“The building would be a point of pride for the university, as the USC has become,” said Moushon, a senior majoring in Finance. “It’s the next step for USFSP to keep moving forward and to drive education.”
Anderson echoed those sentiments. “Looking back on our academic careers, I think we can all remember a small handful of professors who really inspired us to be who we are today,” he said. “They were the type with open doors, happy to have us come in any time and ask for help on anything. Something about the culture of USFSP really brings in those especially inspiring types to teach. Unfortunately, instead of a collection of their minds working together to shape ours, those open doors are scattered across campus, and often hard to find.”
Chris Steinocher, president of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber’s top two legislative priorities are the College of Business building and continued funding for Sunbay Digital Mathematics.
Sunbay Digital Mathematics is a collaboration among USFSP, SRI International, the Pinellas County School District, the Helios Education Foundation, and the Pinellas Education Foundation that is studying new ways to teach math to middle school students.
“The College of Business is to us a cornerstone of a commitment that this community is focused on business,” Steinocher said. “The business community would see itself reflected in that building. It also is reflective of our interest in making sure we have the kind of workforce that businesses in our community are going to need.”
Finally, he said, it would give the business community “a place to interact with the students to work and grow together.”
Likewise, SunBay Digital Mathematics “is a reflection of priorities,” Steinocher said. “It is a statement about what matters most and it’s about ensuring that we’re doing everything we can so students can learn.”