Academic Initiatives


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


Men of Excellence is a strategic student success initiative aimed at enhancing the experience of male residential students at USF. Through this initiative, men participate in a variety of events aiding in the development of personal, academic, and professional skills with the long-term goal of persistence to graduation and full-time employment. Men of Excellence allows men to reflectively examine who they are, explore how masculinity impacts their lives, and enhance their co-curricular experience through engagement with peers, faculty, and staff.


Real Talk is a dialogue-based series that provides participants an intentional opportunity to learn and engage in a conversation forum around issues of social justice and equity. The goal is to create a space to reflect and critically discuss personal and cultural lived experiences locally and globally. The series occurs in the fall and spring.


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. Rick Kelso – Department of Marketing resides in Maple Hall
• Dr. Makut Matawal – College of Public Health resides in Juniper-Poplar Hall
• Dr. Frank Pyrtle III – Department of Mechanical Engineering resides in Horizon Hall
• Dr. Tangela Serls – Department of Women & Gender Studies resides in Summit Hall

Faculty Fellows

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.

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 three times a semester.