USFSP Competes in Ethics Bowl

USFSP journalism students performed well in the annual Southeastern Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB), hosted recently by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. Teams gathered at the St. Petersburg College EpiCenter in Clearwater to argue and defend their moral assessments of some of the most troubling and complex issues facing society today, including an array of topics in business and professional ethics, in personal relationships, and in social and political affairs.

The students from USFSP participated as part of their Mass Communications Ethics course. A panel of five primary presenters emerged over the course of the semester, and were chosen by their class to represent the university.

Dr. Deni Elliott Photo: Melissa Lyttle

Dr. Deni Elliott
Photo: Melissa Lyttle

“The team did a wonderful job of representing USFSP,” said Professor Deni Elliott, who teaches the Ethics course. “Team members were poised. They clearly knew what they were talking about and felt confident in discussing their position with opposing teams and with judges from the community.”

“We all performed at our highest levels, and I am very proud of us for being a team that could have held its own in the national competition,” added presenter Duncan Rodman.

USFSP competed against teams from the US Naval Academy, The Citadel Military College of South Carolina, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Union College. Hundreds of college students across the United States and Canada compete each year in 10 regional events. This was the first time this group of USFSP students had participated in this kind of competition.

“Be proud of having been the best team that I have seen come out of our USFSP Media Ethics class,” Elliott told them.

Students, Faculty Pause for Veterans

A moment of silence at USFSP

A moment of silence at USFSP

In honor of Veterans Day, USFSP hosted a ceremony on Monday, calling for a moment of silence while bugles were played at 11:11 a.m. Students and faculty paid tribute to all those who have served, including those who are now students.

“Let’s work together to show our veterans they are not alone,” urged Jared S. Alberico, president of the Student Veterans Organization (SVO), in an email to faculty and staff.

Most college campuses have an office for student veterans to turn to for support. USFSP’s SVO is new, having been established this fall. Alberico says the need is great, with hundreds of students who are transitioning from combat life to campus life – which can be overwhelming.

Alberico and fellow veteran Clarence Ford were instrumental in getting the SVO up and running, but it’s still in its infancy. Now they say they’ll need some help to market it, find a home where veterans can go for help, and student and faculty volunteers to make it all possible.

“I’ve already been helped by fellow Veterans with information about education tools that I wouldn’t have known without them. When someone needs someone to talk to and lean on, we are here for them,” said Alberico.

For more information about Veterans Services and SVO, visit and Ten Things You Should Know About Today’s Student Veteran

Blue Ocean and USFSP Welcome Sir Robert Swan

Sir Robert Swan, polar explorer and motivational speaker

Sir Robert Swan, polar explorer and motivational speaker

As part of the Blue Ocean Film Festival, Sir Robert Swan presented to a class of USFSP Geography students. Swan was the first man in history to walk 900 miles to the South Pole and 700 miles to the North Pole — and today, is one of the world’s leading advocates for the preservation of Antarctica.

“Climate change is definite. Science has told us this,” said Swan. “Most people insure their cars, their homes. We need to insure our planet.”

“Sir Robert Swan’s ‘chat’ with Dr. Meindl’s class was perhaps the most inspiring 45 minutes of my life,” said Dr. Frank Biafora, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “His stories of leadership and courage and of surviving the elements on two polar expeditions left the audience breathless and in awe, with each of us to ponder what we are doing in our own lives to make a positive difference in the world.”

For more information about Swan and his work, visit www.

COE Grads Perform Well on State Tests

COE Associate Dean Olivia Hodges and Dean Bill Heller

COE Associate Dean Olivia Hodges and Dean Bill Heller

Graduates of the USFSP College of Education are performing consistently well on the State of Florida’s General Knowledge Test and the Florida Teacher Certificate Examination. That, according to assessment results just released for the years 2011-2014. Results show that USFSP teacher certification candidates are performing at or above the state average in all of four subtests: English Language Skills, Mathematics, Reading and Essay.

“The performance results reinforce the College’s efforts to prepare the very best teachers possible,” said Bill Heller, dean of the College of Education. “These teachers can and will make a difference with every child.”

USFSP candidate performance has increased steadily, with the highest scores recorded during 2013 and 2014. “The outstanding performance of the COE students on the state certification tests reflects the excellence of the COE students, and the COE faculty and staff, said Dr. Han Reichgelt, regional vice chancellor of Academic Affairs. “They all deserve our congratulations.”

Smith & Associates Makes $100,000 Gift

Robert Glaser

Robert Glaser

USFSP received another special gift recently: A $100,000 contribution from Smith & Associates Real Estate will support objectives of student and faculty initiatives, including academic and research programs, student clubs, equipment, computers and student travel and training, among others.

“We’ve had the pleasure to work with Bob Glaser and his team at Smith & Associates for several years and are delighted to be able to announce this gift,” said Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska. “These gifts make a tremendous difference to us, to the educational experiences of our students.”

The Smith & Associates gift will be recognized by naming the café in the new Kate Tiedemann College of Business building. USFSP broke ground on the new 68,000 square-foot building earlier this month.

“It’s been exciting to watch the momentum and growth at USFSP,” said Robert Glaser, president and CEO of Smith & Associates. “We’re delighted to become a part of it.”