Academic Initiatives are programs, services, facilities, and learning communities that support the academic needs and goals of the University of South Florida students. In Housing & Residential Education, we promote the academic success and intellectual development of our residents and strive to enhance their ability to graduate within 4-6 years. The Academic Initiatives Team is committed to establishing relationships with faculty and staff in order to maximize the flow of academic resources for our residents. Most initiatives provide learning experiences and opportunities to interact with faculty outside of the classroom.
The Academic Initiatives team at the University of South Florida offers year-round academic engagement opportunities. Below are descriptions of our current programs and initiatives, including those in which we partner with other offices.
"Resource-A-Bull" Academic Initiatives Newsletter
The goal of this quarterly newsletter is to highlight upcoming academic initiative events, high achieving students, and on-campus academic resources. Occurs twice a semester.
The goal of this workshop is to enhance academic success skills and study strategies that will lead to improved academic performance in the spring semester. Achieve-a-Bull is a one day workshop offered in early January, before spring classes begin, to any first year student who received below a 2.5 GPA in the fall semester. The workshop is a partnership between Housing & Residential Education and the Academic Success Center. Occurs in the spring.
Alfredo with Alfredo - Academic Planning & Resources
The goal of this program is for residents to learn more about academic resources at USF. During this session, attendees will meet the Coordinator for Academic Initiatives, Alfredo Oliveira, who will support students in setting up academic and personal goals, and develop a plan for the semester. At the end, students will enjoy a delicious pasta dinner! Occurs every summer, fall, and spring.
Alfredo with Alfredo - Setting Yourself Up for Success
The goal of this program is for residents to discover strategies on how to succeed in college. During this session, attendees will meet the Coordinator for Academic Initiatives, Alfredo Oliveira, who will support students in setting up academic and personal goals. At the end, students will enjoy a delicious pasta dinner! Occurs every summer, fall, and spring.
The goal of this program is for residents to mix and mingle with their academic advisors from the College of Arts and Sciences. Attendees will be able to discuss any questions they have regarding coursework, research, or academic major over a cup of coffee. Occurs in the summer.
Common Reading Experience Panel
The goal of this program is to engage students and faculty fellows in a conversation about the Common Reading book for the academic year. Occurs in the fall.
Decoding Your Syllabus
The goal of this program is for residents to learn how to read and utilize their course syllabi. Attendees will join science peer mentors, advisors, and faculty to break down key dates and information. Occurs in the summer.
The goal of this program is to provide students with added opportunities to prepare for their finals exams. Professors from various departments are invited to give large-scale review sessions in subjects recommend by residents. Each semester students attend these review sessions in the residence hall areas and the Marshall Student Center. Occurs every semester during finals week.
Get Smart Week
The goal of this program is to provide academic resources to students during midterms. Each semester there is a week-long series of programs focused on educating students on academic resources and connecting them to professors outside the classroom. Faculty-In-Residence and Faculty Fellows engage with students to encourage academic success. Occurs every fall and spring.
Greek Advising Night
The goal of this program is to provide in-house academic advising and career planning appointments to students living in the Greek Village during the peak of course registration. Occurs in the fall.
The goal of this event is to provide first-time in college students the opportunity to interact with USF faculty, staff, advisors, and other Student Affairs and Student Success professionals in the residence halls in which they live. Residents will experience organic interactions with USF professionals that will serve as venues for continued communication, mentoring, and added support throughout their time in college. Occurs in the fall.
The goal of this event is to celebrate residents who earn a GPA of 3.50 or higher in the fall semester. Just Desserts is a dessert reception where faculty and administrators are invited to celebrate residents' academic achievements and provide motivation for continued success. Occurs in the spring.
Last Lecture Series
The goal of this program is to provide a venue for a distinguished faculty member to present a message as though it were their last lecture. Students, faculty, and other USF constituents are invited to hear the inspirational and engaging message from a respected member of the USF community. Occurs every year.
Science Faculty/Academic Advisor Panel
The goal of this program is for residents to get familiar with the transition from summer to fall. Attendees will join a panel of dedicated faculty and staff who share their insights about student life at USF. Occurs in the summer.
Three full-time faculty members reside within the residence halls on campus. The Faculty in Residence (FIR) professors foster habits of curiosity about and involvement in educational, cultural and service activities beyond the formal confines of the classroom.
The FIRs help plan and implement social as well as educational programs while serving as a role model, teacher and leader within the residential community in which they reside.
- Dr. Justin Brown - Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications Resides in Beta Hall
- Dr. Kevin Mackay - Department of Physics Resides in Maple Hall
- Professor Jennifer Cainas – College of Business Resides in Juniper-Poplar Hall
In addition to the Faculty-in-Residence program, many additional faculty members serve as role models and mentors to residents as Faculty Fellows (FF). The Faculty Fellows are faculty members who engage with students outside of the classroom to broaden the academic experience of students and to enhance the work environment of the faculty member.
The FF provides a bridge between formal academic programs and the out of classroom developmental activities of residents.
- Dr. Ashok Upadhyaya - Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology
- Dr. Christian Wells - Department of Anthropology
- Dr. Daniel Cruz - Department of Chemistry
- Dr. Erika Martinez - Department of Economics
- Dr. Frank Pyrtle - Department of Mechanical Engineering
- Dr. Jhon J. Figueroa - Department of Chemistry
- Dr. Johnny El-Rady - Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology
- Dr. Jonathan Bethard - Department of Anthropology
- Dr. Jonathan Gaines - Department of Mechanical Engineering
- Dr. Kimberly Fields - Department of Chemistry
- Dr. Laura Anderson - Department of Chemistry
- Dr. Michael Heyes - Department of Religious Studies
- Dr. Shawn Bingham - Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs | Honors College
- Dr. Steven Surrency - Communication Sciences and Disorders
- Mr. Coby O'Brien - Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications
- Mr. John Sarao - Director Joint Military Leadership Center
- Ms. Kayt Ahnberg - Library Sciences
Read the latest Resource-A-Bull newsletter!
- Academic Initiatives Newsletter Fall 2016 Volume 1 Issue 1
- Academic Initiatives Newsletter Fall 2016 Volume 1 Issue 2
- Academic Initiatives Newsletter Spring 2017 Volume 1 Issue 3
- Academic Initiatives Newsletter Spring 2017 Volume 1 Issue 4