About the Magazine

From the President

President Currall showing Bull Horns

Dear alumni, friends and supporters of USF:

I hope you and your families are well.

Working in consultation with the Florida Board of Governors, USF has transitioned to pre-COVID operations and pre-COVID classroom capacity as of the June 28 start of our summer session. We also are returning to full in-person participation in athletic and social activities on our campuses, including fan participation in stadiums and arenas.

While we are pleased — and relieved — to be emerging from the pandemic, we also are acutely aware that COVID-19 is still with us. USF has been guided in our mitigation efforts by data and science and by governmental directives. As I have frequently said, we are fortunate that we are able to rely on the expertise of many scholars among our faculty who bring us the latest evidence. We encourage students, faculty and staff to get the vaccine and we will continue to listen closely to our experts as we also carefully monitor guidance from the CDC and the State of Florida to shape our strategies.

The cover package for this issue of USF Magazine focuses on our growing emphasis on national security. Given that our region is home to many prominent cultural institutions, a thriving port and hub for global trade, a vast tourism industry, MacDill Air Force Base, and cutting-edge scientific and medical centers, USF is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in areas of global and national security. Leveraging USF’s proximity to MacDill and other regional and statewide assets will aid in building nationally ranked academic programs and centers of unique competitive advantage to address some of the world’s most pressing issues. You can read about some of our programs and partnerships here.

Our return to pre-COVID operations comes just in time for the College of Marine Science’s Oceanography Camp for Girls. The camp, which marks its 30th anniversary this summer, takes place in person in July. A three-week program, the camp is designed for young women from Pinellas County in their summer between middle school and high school. The National Science Foundation considers the camp as a model for immersive, experiential science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning for women and girls. Studies suggest middle school is the time young women start to lose interest in science, and 30 years of camp survey data suggest that campers leave the experience with a much better appreciation for, and understanding of, what it means to do ocean science. Former campers share their experiences in this issue.

We celebrate another milestone in Athletics: Softball coach Ken Eriksen’s 1,000th victory. The all-time winningest head coach in any sport at USF, Ken is in select company as just the 28th NCAA Division I coach to record that achievement and he is only the second to do it entirely in the state of Florida. After leading our softball team to its seventh NCAA tournament appearance in the last 10 seasons, Ken will serve as head coach of USA Softball in the Tokyo Olympic Games later in July. Congratulations on your many accomplishments, Ken.

I hope you and your families enjoy a safe, healthy summer. Thank you for all that you do for our students and our university.

Steven C. Currall
USF President and Professor