With Local Natives!

Explore and Get Lost

I have been in Belgium for over 2 months now, and now that the initial craziness has passed and I’ve comfortable settled into my new home I’ve been able to calm down and explore.

I’ve been taking a French class and have made a few local friends which have really helped with the language, and which has given me the confidence to travel to other cities on my own since communication is no longer such a big issue.

Antwerp Part 1

This trip was basically to Street Art Belgium, an outdoor /indoor graffiti art expo. Artists showed more traditional work on canvas in a little gallery space, while several others painted huge murals in Luchtbal, a suburb of Antwerp. Free and super, super awesome!

Lier/Antwerp Part 2

This second trip was a visit to two family friends who live in Lier, a really tiny town really close to Antwerp. I spend the evening with them in Lier, and then they took me to see “the sights” in Antwerp, which were fantastic.


A trip with two main objectives: the Local Natives concert at the AB Club, and a visit to the Magritte Museum for a 20th Century Art assignment.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing that I learned there, and probably so far in this trip, is to LET YOURSELF GET LOST. I had an hour to kill pre-concert and got lost the way back to the venue, which resulted in me running into 3 members from Local Natives on the street and getting to chat and take a picture.

The following day I did a hop on/hop off bus tour of the city (which is worth it!), and met a girl on the bus which I ended up exploring the whole town with.

It’s all a matter of giving out good vibes.


Unfortunately it poured all day so I wasn’t able to shoot much, but I went to the KIKK Festival here, which was basically a really awesome design convention. I sat in a theatre and listened to designers give talks from 10-6pm, and it was wonderful.

Also, if you’re here, go to Okawa if you like sushi, but don’t get the sushi lunch box. Get a simple roll or Sashimi/Nigiri, and tempura. They seem to do that best.


  1. CityMaps2Go iPhone app- Get it! It’s awesome and it will save you! It works on GPS so you don’t even need WiFi and shows you exactly where you’re at. It also lets you bookmark places and look for places by name and address just by downloading the map of the city.
  2. At least in Belgium, a GoPass 10 train ticket (available if you’re under 25)- 50 euros gets you 10 train rides, which can be used during an unlimited time span. Perfect if you’ll be staying in a place for a while and are planning to travel a lot.
  3. Make friends with the locals! Don’t stick to hanging out with people who came with you from your school, and try to be in different classes since it will force you to speak to people you otherwise might be too shy to interact with. You will get to not only practice the language, but also get to go to awesome things you might otherwise not have run into.
  4. Look for festivals and events! If you’re a student or under 25 you get insane discounts to things that are absolutely worth it! For example, the KIKK Festival in Namur was free (!), and a ticket to go to the opera will cost you 15 EU for a good seat vs. 80 EU if you didn’t meet the criteria.
  5. Don’t get an ombre dye here. DO. NOT. DO. IT. Or a haircut, honestly.

Internal Awards Program faculty grants announced, totalling nearly $80,000

Nearly $80,000 has been awarded to 10 USF St. Petersburg faculty members through the 2012 Internal Awards Program, Interim Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth announced Friday.

The program provides “seed money” through a competitive process. The money allows faculty members to lay the groundwork for proposals to external sponsors such as federal and state agencies.

Nearly two dozen faculty members applied.  Each applicant was asked to explain the impact of the proposed project and identify sources of future funding. The USFSP Research Council reviewed the applications and recommended those it deemed worthy of funding.  Dr. Hogarth awarded the grants based on those recommendations, along with input from Norine Noonan, regional vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Seven awards were in the College of Arts and Sciences, two in the College of Business and one in the College of Education, totaling $79,270.

“The awards underscore the quality and scope of research underway at USF St. Petersburg,’’ said Dr. Hogarth. “I hope this program will help provide the momentum to continue the progress we have seen in the past four years, when research funding has grown from $800,000 to $6 million. I am very proud of our faculty and the research they are conducting, which benefits students and the community.”

Here is a list of the awards by college:

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Henry Alegria, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, $8,000, Assessing the Impact of Sewage Discharge from Caye Caulker on the Belize Barrier Reef – Application of the FORAM Index.
  • Susan F. Allen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Social Work, $7,855, A Study of Factors that Affect Birth Mothers’ Adoption Plans in Private Adoptions.
  • Tiffany Chenneville, Ph.D., Associated Professor of Psychology, $7,892, Perceptions of HIV Criminalization Laws Among College Students.
  • Narciso J. Hidalgo, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Spanish, $7,728, Beyond the Boundaries: Orishas and Babalawos in Mexico and Spain
  • Heather Judkins, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biological Oceanography, $7,950, Biodiversity Around the Borders.
  • Neil Matthiessen, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, $7,845, WAAS Gallery Exhibit.
  • James McHale, Professor and Chair of Psychology, $8,000, Perceptions of Parenting Coordination by Parents and Coordinators.

College of Business

  • Zheng (Chris) Chen , Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management, $8,000, Work-family Role Boundary Management: A Person Identity Perspective.
  • Varol Onur Kayhan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Information Systems Management, $8,000, Information Privacy: The Effect of Helplessness.

College of Education

  • AnnMarie Alberton Gunn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Reading and Literacy Studies, $8,000, Building A Culturally Responsible Literacy Pedagogy Through Authentic Texts and Community Engagement.