College of Business course aimed at closing IT skills gap

In response to the growing IT skills gap in the Tampa Bay area, the College of Business is developing a new certificate course that will teach students how to create a mobile application from concept to finished product in just 12 weeks.

The course, developed in partnership with Haneke Design of Tampa, begins July 13 and at the USF St. Petersburg.  Space is limited and early sign up is strongly encouraged.

Students in the iOS Mobile Application Developer Course will work directly with instructor Jesse Curry, Haneke Design’s director of development, who leads the agency’s mobile team and has developed dozens of Apple iOS mobile applications for enterprises across the country.

Each student will learn how to create a mobile application using Apple’s Software Developer Kit in weekly classes.  They will have access to Curry for one hour five days a week to ask questions and obtain extra support for their projects.  Students who successfully complete this course will receive a certificate showing they possess the skills required by most employers hiring entry-level iOS developers today.

Tampa Bay’s information technology skills gap was detailed in a recent report, “The Tampa Bay IT Workforce Analysis, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.” The report highlights the challenges area technology employers are facing in finding enough local talent to fuel their fast-growing businesses.

College of Business Dean Maling Ebrahimpour

College of Business Dean Maling Ebrahimpour

“We are very excited to partner with Haneke Design to offer this timely and valuable course to our students and this community,” said Maling Ebrahimpour, PhD, dean of the USF St. Petersburg College of Business.  “USF St. Petersburg has a valuable role to play in fueling the growth of this region’s economy by ensuring that our students receive both the classic academic training that is foundational to their chosen profession as well as opportunities to acquire the latest in-demand skills that will make them more marketable in high-growth, fast-changing industries like technology.  In addition, by collaborating with area business leaders to develop solutions for our region’s most pressing talent challenges, USF St. Petersburg’s College of Business adds even greater value in helping fuel Tampa Bay’s economic growth.”

Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design, said her own company has struggled to find qualified employees. “Like many other technology companies, our greatest challenge has been finding people with three to five years of experience who can deploy the skills we need most from Day One on the job,” Haneke said. “One way to address this problem is to encourage students, veteran developers, and service members entering the civilian workforce to take courses like these, so they can get those highly desired skills and show that they have experience in delivering completed, professional-quality projects.”

For more information about the iOS Mobile Application Developer course, contact Alison Watkins, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate and executive education and associate professor of information systems & decision sciences at USF St. Petersburg at or 727-873-4086.

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.