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Mary Anne Reilly to Receive USFSP’s Top Award During Commencement

Mary Anne Reilly

Mary Anne Reilly

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) will celebrate the accomplishments of 417 new graduates during its Fall Commencement, representing undergraduate and graduate degrees from 36 academic homes. A ceremony will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, at the Mahaffey Theater.

During the ceremony, Tampa Bay accounting executive, Mary Anne Reilly, will receive the institution’s most prestigious honor: the annual Chancellor’s Award for Civic Leadership. Reilly, a founding shareholder in the firm of Reilly, Fisher & Solomon, P.A., has long been associated with USFSP’s Kate Tiedemann College of Business, serving on the College of Business Advisory Board, as well as on the boards of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, the Foundation for a Drug-Free America, Bayfront HERO, and the Florida Holocaust Museum.

“I am honored to present this award to a woman whose commitment to this community – whose commitment to education and civic engagement – has helped transform St. Petersburg and this institution,” said Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska, Ph.D. “The vibrant university we know and love today is because of people like Mary Anne Reilly.”

A longtime resident of St. Petersburg, Reilly has also served on the boards at All-Children’s and Bayfront Hospitals, the St. Petersburg Chamber and the St. Petersburg YMCA. She says that over the years, she liked to think she was contributing to a community in which her daughter would want to raise a family.

Reilly has 37 years of professional experience, with clients in a variety of industries, including real estate, manufacturing and publishing. She is married to Chico’s FAS Chair, Ross Roeder, and has a daughter and son-in-law, Anne Michelle and Mathew Frey, and grandchildren, Catherine and John Frey – who live in St. Petersburg.

The Chancellor’s Award for Civic Leadership is bestowed in recognition of outstanding contributions to the community and underscores the institution’s own commitment to civic engagement. It is given during the Fall Commencement ceremony. Recent, previous recipients include: former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, the Hough Family, and Pinellas County school administrator Vyrle Davis.

USFSP Heads West for Sustainability Conference

From left: Dylan Canady, Cassidy McGrane, Alyssa Winston, David Vasquez, Brandi Murphy, Leeann Watson

From left: Dylan Canady, Cassidy McGrane, Alyssa Winston, David Vasquez, Brandi Murphy, Leeann Watson

Six members of the USFSP Student Environmental Awareness Society (SEAS) recently attended the national conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in Portland. The AASHE conference is the largest gathering of higher education sustainability professionals and students in North America, with some 2,000 participants.

“When we found out that the conference was going to be in Portland, we were thrilled to be able to visit such a sustainably progressive city,” said Brandi Murphy, SEAS president. SEAS is the longest running organization at USFSP.

Murphy said there are a number of green efficiencies and technologies that the SEAS group brought back from AASHE, including a food waste digester and biodiesel vehicles. The organization will implement recycling efficiencies on campus during a spring campaign called Recycle with the Herd, Revitalize the Burg.

USFSP is a signatory of the American Colleges and Universities President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), said Murphy, which sets the campus apart for its leading role in influencing sustainability in higher education. We have been given a framework in which to implement and monitor our school’s climate action plan, with the hope that within 50 years our campus will become carbon neutral.

“This has fueled our community to build a movement and become stewards of the environment,” Murphy said. “Go Green, Stay Gold!” reads her signature line.

For more info about SEAS, visit their Facebook page:, or contact SEAS president Brandi Murphy,

USFSP’s Judkins Named as Part of $8.5 Million NSU Grant

FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. – Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Oceanographic Center is home to some of the world’s top marine biology and ocean ecosystem researchers and experts. Now those research efforts are being given a boost, thanks to a financial award from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI.) NSU is one of 12 organizations selected to receive part of $140 million for continued research in the area of oil spills and how we respond to them. Read the full story.

USFSP Professor Finds Ants, CEOs Not That Different

Plenty of kids play in dirt and collect bugs. Maybe you used to bring home bugs in a jar. Maybe you still do.  Deby Cassill does. But, she’s the Associate Professor of Biology at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Read the full story.