Inside USF: The Podcast

Past Episodes


Season 2 | Episodes 1 - 9

Season 2 | Episode 9

Before construction was even completed, the new home of the Judy Genshaft Honors College was having a transformative effect on student applications. As students, faculty and staff move into the building this summer, Dean Charles Adams expects interest to continue to grow. In this episode, he discusses some of the building’s key features and his personal and professional journey – much of it built on his experiences growing up overseas.  Adams, who admits he “was not a good high school student,” became dean of USF’s honors college in 2014. His career has included serving as a Fulbright Professor of American Studies in Germany as well as leading numerous study abroad programs, including to Japan, Italy and Africa.

Additional resources:

Headshot of Charles Adams

Season 2 | Episode 8

Joseph Dituri, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at USF, who also is known as “Dr. Deep Sea,” is on a mission. Living in a 100-square-foot habitat at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo since March 1, Dituri has captured worldwide media attention as he attempts to break the current record of 73 days living underwater. While his goal is to remain 30 feet beneath the surface for 100 days, Dituri’s priorities are getting children interested in STEM – he’s talked to classes in Spain, Australia and Vietnam, among others – and conducting research that will benefit NASA astronauts on a mission to Mars. While still underwater during USF’s Maymester, Dituri will teach a course on hyperbaric engineering.

Headshot of Joseph Dituri

Season 2 | Episode 7 - listen to a preview

On the job since March 1, USF’s new chief academic officer, Prasant Mohapatra, brings extensive experience as a faculty member, researcher and administrator to his role as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. In this episode, he discusses what attracted him to USF and offers his perspective on a variety of significant issues facing higher education nationally and in Florida. He also shares details about growing up in India, his family and his passions outside of work. Those include traveling, and he has enjoyed some unusual experiences – such as taking a ride on an ostrich.

Additional resources:

Headshot of Prasant Mohapatra

Season 2 | Episode 6 - listen to a preview

USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus is on the eve of an exciting new era. Ground will soon be broken for a housing and student center complex and planning is under way for a nursing/STEM facility. Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook discusses the need for the facilities and the benefits they will offer to students, faculty and the community. We also learn about her career in higher education and life outside the university, including her passion for seabirds.

Headshot of Karen Holbrook

Season 2 | Episode 5

In this special episode, Rhea Law shares her vision for the university in the address she delivered during her inauguration as USF’s eighth president on Jan. 19, 2023. A full transcript of the address is available here.

Additional resources:

Rhea Law speaking at a podium during Inauguration

Season 2 | Episode 4 - listen to a preview

USF’s College of Nursing is in the early stages of an all-out effort to expand undergraduate education to help address the shortage of nurses – predicted to reach 59,000 in Florida by 2035. Usha Menon, dean of the college and senior vice president of USF Health, discusses the reasons for the nursing shortage crisis, plans to expand the college’s physical footprint and enrollment, and its extensive community outreach efforts. (Note: The College of Nursing is highlighted in the winter issue of USF Magazine, which will be published in mid-December.)

Additional resources:

Usha Menon

Season 2 | Episode 3 - listen to a preview

After a distinguished 42-year career in the Marine Corps, which included three years as the head of U.S. Central Command, retired Gen. Kenneth F. “Frank” McKenzie has valuable perspectives to share about threats to global and U.S. security. He also discusses the important work of USF’s Global and National Security Institute as well as Cyber Florida, two organizations he now leads.

Frank Mckenzie Headshot

Season 2 | Episode 2 - listen to a preview

While Homecoming – scheduled this year for Oct. 9-15 – may be its most visible event, the USF Alumni Association sponsors more than 250 events annually to provide alumni with relevant, meaningful experiences. Bill McCausland, vice president and executive director of the association, discusses the extensive planning that goes into the Homecoming celebration, coordinated by a 30-member committee representing all three campuses. He also shares details on some of the many other ways USF’s 385,000 living alumni – which includes nearly 3,900 members of our faculty and staff – can stay connected to, and help support, students and the university.

Additional resources:

Bill McCausland headshot

Season 2 | Episode 1 - listen to a preview

Known to many at USF as the long-time dean of our largest college, the College of Arts and Sciences, there’s much you may not know about Eric Eisenberg. First-generation college student, musician (he plays guitar and other instruments), poet and huge fan of basketball, Eric is passionate about helping faculty, staff and students succeed. Now the interim provost and executive vice president, he discusses his priorities in his new role and his perspective on the state of higher education, all while sharing anecdotes about his personal journey, including his family of Bulls.


Eric Eisenberg headshot


Season 1 | Episodes 17 - 32

Season 1 | Episode 32 - listen to a preview

Enhancing internal communications and increasing USF’s reputation locally, nationally and internationally are priorities for University Communications and Marketing. Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Kim Hill shares insights about some of the projects that highlight USF’s compelling story, such as a non-traditional national marketing campaign, and plans for an extensive brand research project that will include focus groups and surveys.


Kim Hill headshot

Season 1 | Episode 31 - listen to a preview

Dean Anthony Rolle expects enrollment in the College of Education to be up this fall, a positive sign as there are thousands of teacher openings across the state of Florida. In addition to efforts to grow the talent pipeline, he discusses a number of other priorities for the college, including diversity, equity and inclusion and enhancing relationships with Tampa Bay school district superintendents.


Headshot of Anthony Rolle

Season 1 | Episode 30 - listen to a preview

Whether it’s gas, groceries or just about anything else, we’re all feeling the impacts of a very volatile economy. Michael Snipes, a member of USF’s economics faculty on the Sarasota-Manatee campus, shares his perspectives on the national economy as well as Tampa Bay’s – which he believes is in better shape to weather an economic downturn than other parts of the country.


 Graphic of Inside USF Podcast logo and 100-dollar bill in US currency

Season 1 | Episode 29 - listen to a preview

Christian Hardigree brings a wealth of experiences, including more than two decades in higher education, to her new role as regional chancellor.  She’s waited tables, worked in a pool hall, couch-surfed as a homeless student and served as a senior litigation attorney.


 Headshot of Christian Hardigree

Season 1 | Episode 28 - listen to a preview

From the largest recurring single-year increase in operating funds that any Florida public university has ever received, to major investments in such critical programs as nursing and cybersecurity, faculty, staff and students across USF will benefit from the new state budget that takes effect July 1. Mark Walsh, assistant vice president for government relations, shares details about this historic budget.


 Florida state capitol building

Season 1 | Episode 27 - listen to a preview

With hurricane season just underway, Jennifer Collins, a professor in USF’s School of Geosciences, discusses the weather conditions she’s keeping an eye on, what they could mean over the next six months, and her efforts to design a new system to determine preparation and evacuation procedures.


Photo of palm trees blowing in the wind

Season 1 | Episode 26 - listen to a preview

During Mental Health Awareness Month, two USF students, Christian Marquez and Katrina Paschke, talk openly about their mental health challenges and how the stigma attached to seeking help affected them. Kristin Kosyluk, assistant professor in the Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, also shares her insights – professional and personal – about the mental health crisis in our country. Christian and Katrina were members of the cast, and Kristin served as lead producer, of the inaugural “This Is My Brave; College Edition, a OneUSF Production,” which was staged during the spring semester. The content of this production was developed under the REACH (Race, Equity, Arts, and Cultural History) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, the production was supported by the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute.


 Christian Marquez and Katrina Paschke, two USF students, Kristin Kosyluk, assistant professor in the Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, and Tom Woolf, host of the "Inside USF: The Podcast", sit at a table with recording equipment.

Season 1 | Episode 25 - listen to a preview

Worried about their families and friends back home, Ukrainian students attending USF are also facing uncertainty about housing and financial support as they remain in Tampa Bay for the summer. Kiki Caruson, interim vice president of USF World, discusses what the university is doing to help.


Headshot of Kiki Caruson

Season 1 | Episode 24 - listen to a preview

Compared to 19 other metropolitan regions across Florida and the U.S., there’s encouraging news and not-so-encouraging news regarding the Tampa Bay region’s economic competitiveness. Moez Limayem, dean of the Muma College of Business, shares key insights from research conducted by the college as part of the Tampa Bay Partnership’s State of the Region initiative.


Headshot of Limayem Moez

Season 1 | Episode 23 - listen to a preview

The new on-campus stadium is expected to enhance many aspects of the university experience. But can you really balance fundraising priorities between athletics and academics? Campus Stadium Planning Committee Co-chairs Jay Stroman, CEO of the USF Foundation, and Michael Kelly, vice president of athletics, share their vision for the stadium and outline how else it may be utilized.


Headshot of Jay Stroman


Headshot of Michael Kelly



Season 1 | Episode 22 - listen to a preview

The USF Board of Trustees has named the eighth president of the university, subject to Florida Board of Governors’ approval later this month. In this episode, President-elect Rhea F. Law, the first alum appointed to the position, shares her priorities for the university, including which critical workforce need for our state should be addressed immediately.

Additional resources:


Headshot of USF President Rhea Law.

Season 1 | Episode 21 - listen to a preview

Positive trends across the country suggest we have entered a new phase in the pandemic. Donna Petersen, dean of the College of Public Health and chair of USF’s COVID-19 Task Force, shares her perspective on where we stand two years after COVID-19 swept across the region, the state, the nation and the world.


Donna Petersen headshot.

Season 1 | Episode 20 - listen to a preview

Next month’s ribbon-cutting for the new, state-of-the-art building in the USF Research Park is yet another sign of the growth of USF’s research enterprise. Sylvia Wilson Thomas, interim vice president for research and innovation, discusses the significance of the new facility, the efforts of faculty to address local and global challenges, and her longstanding advocacy for bringing more diversity to the STEM fields.


 Dr. Sylvia Thomas headshot

Season 1 | Episode 19 - listen to a preview

From chronicling dinosaur footprints in Spain to the African American Experience in Florida, the USF Libraries offer a wealth of ever-growing digital collections, along with traditional resources, to inform and intrigue members of the USF community and beyond. Dean Todd Chavez discusses the library of today and what the future holds.


Headshot of Dean Todd Chavez.

Season 1 | Episode 18 - listen to a preview

From diversity and inclusion workshops to commemorations at university athletics events, USF will celebrate Black Heritage Month throughout February. Neudy Nuñez, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, shares highlights of the observance as well as her vision for the future of her office and the contributions it is making to the community.

Additional Resources


Neudy Carolina Nunez headshot.


Season 1 | Episode 17 - listen to a preview

USF St. Petersburg campus Regional Chancellor Martin Tadlock and College of Marine Science Dean Tom Frazer discuss how the state of Florida and coastal communities nationwide will benefit from the research being conducted at USF.

Martin Tadlock headshot.


Tom Frazer headshot.



Season 1 | Episodes 1 - 16

Season 1 | Episode 16

A new USF task force is exploring ways to recruit, enroll and graduate more Latino students and forge stronger connections with Tampa Bay’s Hispanic community. In this episode, task force co-chairs Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman and Paul Dosal discuss what will be ongoing efforts to develop a comprehensive approach that focuses not only on success in the classroom but also enhances students’ sense of belonging to the USF community. They also discuss other diversity, inclusivity and equity initiatives, including the expansion of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.


Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman headshot.


Paul Dosal headshot.


Season 1 | Episode 15


Mark Sharpe, chief potential officer for the Tampa Innovation Partnership, which includes USF as a founding member, discusses ongoing efforts to transform “Uptown”, including the redevelopment of the former University Mall into Rithm at Uptown and a partnership with Florida Blue designed to provide better health, housing, employment and other opportunities in the area.

Mark Sharpe

Season 1 | Episode 14


Although the genetic counseling profession has been in existence for half a century, public awareness of it remains very low. USF’s accredited genetic counseling graduate program is the first and only such training program in Florida, and Director Deborah Cragun explains why the program was created and the role these health care professionals play in helping families understand a variety of potential health risks.

Headshot of Deborah Cragun.  

Season 1 | Episode 13

Kathy Black, professor of aging studies on USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus, is a leading scholar and proponent of age-friendly practices. In this episode, she discusses what it means to be age-friendly and her extensive efforts at the local, state and national levels, including with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and AARP.

Kathy Black, professor of aging studies on USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus.

Season 1 | Episode 12

This episode is devoted to wastewater -- a topic most of us tend not to think about or discuss, particularly when it comes to the significant issues related to wastewater in other parts of the world. For civil and environmental engineering Professor Daniel Yeh, however, developing the technology to address global sanitation concerns – the NEWgenerator-- has been a priority.

Daniel Yeh with the NEWgenerator

Season 1 | Episode 11


Elaine Singleton, executive director of the Monica Wooden Center for Supply Chain Management & Sustainability, part of the Muma College of Business, analyzes ongoing disruptions to the world’s supply chain and potential short- and long-term impacts on product availability and prices.

Elaine Singleton headshot

Season 1 | Episode 10

This is an important time in USF’s history as the university searches for its eighth president. Mike Griffin, vice chair of the USF Board of Trustees and chair of the USF Presidential Search Committee, discusses the process, including the already robust response to an electronic survey that seeks input on specific qualities members of the community would like to see in the next president. Based on the level of interest, the search committee plans to extend the deadline for submission of the survey.

Mike Griffin headshot

Season 1 | Episode 9


In USF’s Office of Supplier Diversity, Assistant Vice President Terrie Daniel and her team track a variety of metrics, such as “spend” and “utilization”. But, as Terrie emphasizes, enhancing supplier diversity is about more than dollars and percentages. As one of the largest economic drivers in the Tampa Bay region, USF can create opportunities for more minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses to grow their enterprises, and in the process, change lives. And, all members of USF’s faculty and staff can play a role in this initiative.

Additional resources

Terrie Daniel headshot

Season 1 | Episode 8

When it comes to USF football, Jim Louk has seen it all – literally. The voice of the Bulls and radio play-by-play broadcaster hasn’t missed calling a game – all 285 of them – since the first kickoff in 1997. As the Bulls launch their 25th anniversary season, Jim reflects on the challenges of getting the program off the ground and some of the highlights, including upsets over Notre Dame, Auburn and West Virginia. He also shares fond memories from other USF Athletics programs, as well as his perspective on why efforts to develop new facilities are so critical.

USF Football 25th anniversay logo

Season 1 | Episode 7

Tampa native, fifth-generation Floridian and USF alumna Rhea Law shares some of her perspectives as the university’s new president, including about USF’s strengths and challenges, and the role it plays in the growth of the Tampa Bay region. She also reflects on her days as a student, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in management while putting herself through school as the university project administrator for the Office of Sponsored Research. Long involved in a variety of organizations across the region, many related to public policy or economic development, President Law also discusses her commitment to service. She even shares a few fun stories about racing – she used to race motorcycles -- a passion she has long shared with her husband.

Additional resources

Interim President for USF, Rhea Law

Season 1 | Episode 6


As his presidency comes to a close, Steven Currall reflects on an eventful two years, which included the adoption of USF’s Principles of Community and a 10-year strategic plan. He also discusses the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that have been implemented, as well as next steps he hopes the university will take. Currall also shares his perspective on COVID-19, including some of the lessons that have been learned along the way. And he discusses the “brilliant choice” of Rhea Law as prospective interim president, saying she is “respected, trusted and has extraordinary credibility across the Tampa Bay community.”

USF President Steven CurrallUSF President Steven Currall recording episode 6 of Inside USF: The Podcast.

Season 1 | Episode 5

Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, a fourth-generation West Tampa native, serves as USF’s interim vice president for institutional equity, senior advisor to the president and provost for diversity and inclusion, and associate professor of sociology. In this episode, she shares updates on some of the key equity, diversity and anti-racism initiatives that USF has implemented over the past year. Among them is the effort to re-imagine the Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Equal Opportunity, which has included multiple virtual town halls that attracted hundreds of participants. Elizabeth also has worked with the Office of Decision Support to create the Diversity, Anti-Racism & Equity Dashboards, and she explains the importance of the metrics as well as more nuanced aspects that go beyond the data. She also discusses efforts to encourage more high-achieving students of color to enroll at USF, and outreach to the Tampa Bay community.

Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman

Season 1 | Episode 4

‘Seeking Truth at High Velocity’

That’s the motto of USF’s Institute of Applied Engineering (IAE). To get a sense of the institute’s capabilities, think about the sandwich you had for lunch the other day. Now, imagine that sandwich is actually a communications satellite. That is, in fact, what the IAE created: Three small satellites, each the size of a sandwich, that have been orbiting the Earth since January. Robert Bishop, dean of USF’s College of Engineering, is the president and CEO of the institute, which was created in 2018. Intentionally located off-campus so engineering is “on display” for the public to see, the IAE searches for solutions “on a time scale that’s not common in some other traditional engineering research institutions,” Bishop says, adding, “Our focus is on applied engineering rather than basic research.” Its partners include U.S. Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. The institute is in the second year of a five-year, $85 million contract that paves the way for researchers and students to collaborate with the command to help solve significant challenges facing the nation.

USF Institute of Applied Engineering logo

Season 1 | Episode 3

Sarah Howard, curator of public art and social practice at USF’s Contemporary Art Museum, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the exciting “Skyway 20/21: A Contemporary Collaboration,” which opened at the museum this week. The collaboration also is being featured at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; and the Tampa Museum of Art. Sarah, fellow curators at the other three art museums and a guest curator with extensive international experience reviewed 300 submissions from Tampa Bay artists, selecting 49 to share their creations across the four institutions. A number of the participating artists are affiliated with USF. We also learn about the Contemporary Art Museum’s permanent collection and plans for upcoming exhibitions.

Skyway. A contemporary collaboration 20/21.

Season 1 | Episode 2

While access to health care continues to be a challenge for many Black Americans, their opportunity to attain optimal health is also impacted by a variety of social factors, according to Kyaien Conner, associate professor in USF’s Department of Mental Health Law & Policy. Unless the significant disparities in who has access to education at all levels, gainful employment and safe and affordable housing, as well as in who is over-represented in the criminal justice system, are addressed, disparities in health outcomes will persist. In this wide-ranging conversation, Conner also explores the historical issue of mistrust in the Black community with regard to health care and mental health care, the need for more providers of color, the importance of medical students learning cultural humility and a recent grant award that supports her community-based Care Transitions Intervention research. Conner also shares her passion for West African dance and the “life-changing moment” when she learned she had been selected as a member of the cast for the Eddie Murphy comedy, “Coming 2 America.”

Additional resources

Examination of The Evidence-Based Care Transitions Intervention Enhanced with Peer Support to Reduce Racial Disparities in Hospital Readmissions and Negative Outcomes Post Hospitalization

Dr. Kyaien Conner, PhD, LSW, MPH, Associate Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, received a $2.5 million dollar research award funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI AD-2019C1-16066). Her project is entitled: Examination of The Evidence-Based Care Transitions Intervention Enhanced with Peer Support to Reduce Racial Disparities in Hospital Readmissions and Negative Outcomes Post Hospitalization. This grant is a large research grant via PCORI’s Addressing Health Disparities mechanism that will examine the impact of a community-based Care Transitions Intervention (CTI) enhanced with peer support to reduce disparities in hospital readmissions and other negative post-discharge outcomes (e.g. mortality, quality of life, ED visits) among older African Americans and Latino/Hispanics living with chronic disease. Dr. Conner is principal investigator (PI) on this project and has Co-I's from multiple USF colleges and departments: Mental Health Law and Policy (Drs. Amber Gum and Larry Schonfeld), Nursing (Dr. Usha Menon), Internal Medicine (Dr. Daniel Haight), Public Health (Dr. Jason Beckstead), Aging Studies (Dr. Hongdao Meng) and Child and Family Studies (Dr. Linda Callejas). This project will also fund two doctoral students in the interdisciplinary PhD program in Behavioral Healthcare, Erica Anderson, MS and Ana Aluisy, MS. This award is in partnership with 3 local hospitals (Tampa General, Advent Health and Lakeland regional). Dr. Conner hopes that this research will contribute to the evidence base supporting culturally relevant community-based interventions toward reducing disparities in health outcomes.  

Kyaien Conner in full make-up

Kyaien Conner, associate professor in USF’s Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, in full West African dance make-up.

Season 1 | Episode 1

One of the lessons learned over the past year is that individuals and teams can accomplish goals, meet deadlines and maintain effective communications while working remotely. As we emerge from the pandemic, while many are anxious to return to our campuses on a full-time basis – or whose jobs require that they do so -- many others may prefer to continue working remotely or establish a hybrid arrangement. Donna Petersen, dean of the College of Public Health and chair of the USF COVID-19 Task Force, and Angie Sklenka, vice president and chief human resources officer, share their perspectives on how we can create a healthy future together as we re-imagine what work will look like, both near- and long-term.

Inside USF: The Podcast. Recording of the first episode of the first season. Host Tom Woolf with guests Angie Sklenka and Dr. Donna PetersenLeft to right: Angie Sklenka, vice president and chief human resources officer; Tom Woolf, Editor-in-Chief and host; Donna Petersen, dean of the College of Public Health and chair of the USF COVID-19 Task Force.

Season 1 Trailer