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Stepping out of my comfort zone has been a theme throughout my career journey — from switching labs in my sixth year of graduate school to switching careers from bench research to diversity, equity and inclusion after defending my thesis in 2020. Leading the staff of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology through a seven-part course that included challenging conversations and self-reflection about diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in the workplace has been the latest step in this journey.
USF President Rhea Law held a town hall Wednesday to share leadership plans for the fall semester, review the newly approved university operating budget and outline human resources’ staff support services. Interim Provost Eric Eisenberg began the roundtable discussion by announcing diversity initiatives outlined in the university’s newest set of strategic plans.
During Interim Provost Eric Eisenberg’s report at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, a common theme emerged of increased enrollment paired with stagnant or declining diversity numbers in certain communities for the fall semester. More first-year students are enrolled this year than any other incoming class in the university’s history, according to Eisenberg. There was an 8% increase in this incoming class, bringing the total number of students from 6,392 last year to 6,918.
USF professors study the civil rights movement during REACH Montgomery Museum Studies program in Alabama
Twenty-one educators, including eight professors from the University of South Florida, journeyed this summer to Montgomery, Ala., the cradle of the American civil rights movement, to learn more about the movement, reflect on its role in the nation’s history and develop ways to best teach the lessons they learned to today’s students.
Programming, IT, and engineering are among the hottest jobs in Tampa Bay, but there’s a diversity gap in who fills those positions. A new program from the University of South Florida's St. Pete campus looks to fill it by educating minority children and girls in local schools about the STEM industry.
I would like to share an update on the search for USF’s next Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. When we unveiled our new Strategic Plan this past year, we underscored not only our core values of Inquiry, Innovation, Integrity, and Inclusion, but also our steadfast commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. These guiding values and commitments define who we are as an institution and shape our bold path forward as the nation’s fastest-rising university. True to the spirit of our aptly named Strategic Plan – “In Pursuit of Excellence” – we are now ready to launch the search for a talented, driven, and proven Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
July 25, 2022University Efforts
In-depth: Why doctors believe the racial disparity in COVID-related deaths is smaller now than ever before
Local epidemiologists have said the racial disparity in COVID-related deaths is smaller now than ever before. Some epidemiologists credit the rapid increase in vaccination rates among people of color. “So, the distance between the number of people that were vaccinated or not vaccinated in African American communities and that in our Caucasian counterparts has significantly narrowed during the past year,” said Dr. Kevin Sneed with USF Health. He also credits the work of organizations such as We Care and ReachUp, Inc. for the increase in local vaccination rates among people of color.
Today, three on-trend restaurants operate in LRR, and each meets Aarmark’s (the university’s food service partner) and USF’s rigorous standards. In addition to providing a great opportunity to hone their craft, being a part of LRR provides caterers, chefs, and restaurateurs major exposure to a huge local audience.
After spending several years unearthing graves and crimes at an infamous, state-operated “school for boys” in Florida’s panhandle, University of South Florida anthropologist Erin Kimmerle has released her harrowing findings to the masses.
Celebrated by African Americans since the late 1800s, Juneteenth has become the most well-known commemoration for the ending of slavery in the United States. Last year, it was established as a federal holiday. On Friday, June 17, USF’s Office of Multicultural Affairs commemorated Juneteenth on the St. Petersburg campus, bringing together the community to shed light on the holiday’s complicated history, discuss current racial justice issues and celebrate through artistic performances. Music, great food and a joyous atmosphere added to the festivity.
University of South Florida students along with officers from USF's police department and the St. Petersburg Police Department discussed how to improve relationships between law enforcement and minority communities.
At Gov. Alexis Roberson’s Student Body Address on Thursday, she said perseverance, especially by students of color, was prominent during her term alongside Lt. Gov. Kiara Brooks as voices for the student body. “We as students not only had to battle achieving academic success in a virtual environment, but specifically students of color were also fighting for our civil and human rights on all political levels,” she said. “Through all of this, our university and, most importantly our students, persevered.”