Innovation Hub USA

Florida Poly University – Dedicated Exclusively to STEM

Florida Poly - IST Exterior
Florida Poly - IST Exterior



Florida Poly - President Randy K
President Randy K. Avent


Florida Polytechnic University was established in 2012 and opened its doors in 2014 as the only member of the State University System of Florida dedicated exclusively to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). With an enrollment of around 1,400, Florida Poly offers a unique environment for students where they work closely with faculty and can take advantage of a hands-on approach to learning. Milestones during these first few years of the University’s existence included the construction of the Innovation, Science, and Technology (IST) Building, the centerpiece of Florida Poly’s campus in Lakeland. The 162,000-square-foot, white-domed building is a moveable and functional work of art, with a louvered roof system that moves throughout the day providing passive lighting inside the second-floor atrium. The oval-shaped structure is ringed by curved metal pergolas that shade its outer terrace and walkways. The building has won global awards and was recently named one of the most breathtaking buildings in the world.

Another major milestone was obtaining regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) ahead of schedule in July 2017. Less than a year later, Florida Poly graduated its first four-year class with over 200 students receiving degrees. The University began by offering six undergraduate degrees along with two graduate degrees, all focused on high-tech disciplines. With small class sizes and a true project-based curriculum, Florida Poly is positioned to provide industry-aligned programs in fast-growing areas like autonomous vehicles, machine intelligence, nanotechnology, logistics, and supply chain management and renewable energy.

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florida poly student
Florida Poly Campus Life Rocket Science Photography-97


With the creation, start-up and graduation of its first class complete, Florida Poly is now embarking on the next pivotal chapter of its existence. Priorities include the creation of three new degrees, as well as increasing our programs and concentrations. This will allow Florida Poly to continue to build a prominent presence with high-paying industries in the region.

Florida Poly 2.0 also includes the construction of another iconic building on its campus – the Applied Research Center – which will house faculty research, laboratories, student design spaces, and faculty offices. In all, this new building will create 150 offices, 21 research laboratories, and seven teaching laboratories.

Florida Poly Campus Life
Florida Poly Campus - STEM education

Creating strong partnerships with companies throughout Florida is another key to providing industry-aligned majors and fueling the state’s economy. That’s why the University is constantly adding to the many internships already available to students so they can truly take part in a world-class STEM education.

The growth around the Florida Poly campus is key in further developing the University and bringing the Florida Poly 2.0 vision to life. Florida Poly’s long-term success grows exponentially when supported by an adjacent research park which will serve as a magnet for the industry. Today’s problems are complex and multi-dimensional, and economies grow most significantly when they bring government, industry, and academia together to commercialize innovation. This research park will be the catalyst for bringing financial and facility capital to the area. There will be academic buildings in the park and industry partners on campus. The park will be a live-work-play environment with apartments and homes, office buildings that house high-tech companies, a town center with restaurants and shops, schools and golf courses and hiking trails. It will be a place of creative collisions, where companies come to the park to gain access to our high-quality students and talented faculty.

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florida poly university

Florida Poly also looks forward to the completion of SunTrax, a large-scale, cutting-edge facility dedicated to the research, development, and testing of emerging transportation technologies in safe and controlled environments. SunTrax is a long-term partnership between Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and Florida Poly and includes a 2.25-mile oval track on a 400-acre site near Florida Poly’s campus. This adds to Florida Poly’s focus on the rapidly evolving field of autonomous and connected vehicles. Its place as a leader in this area was demonstrated at the national level when Randy K. Avent, Florida Poly’s president, testified before a Senate committee on autonomous vehicles in 2018. Between the foundation provided by Florida Poly 1.0 and

the growth outlined in Florida Poly 2.0, Florida Polytechnic University has positioned itself to provide a world-class STEM education in a way that not only prepares students to productively enter the workforce, but to provide them with lifetime employable skills aimed at having an immeasurable impact on local and state economies.

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Phone: 863-583-9050
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Robert H. Bishop – Dean of the College of Engineering at USF

Dr. Robert H. Bishop, P.E., Dean of the College Engineering at the University of South Florida.



Dr. Robert H. Bishop, P.E., Dean of the College Engineering at the University of South Florida.
Dr. Robert H. Bishop, P.E., Dean of the College Engineering at the University of South Florida.

“Each day we work harder – relentlessly and creatively – shaping our understanding of mathematics and science for the greater good.”

The College of Engineering at the University of South Florida is at the forefront of engineering research and education, cultivating knowledgeable, passionate engineers who are dedicated to needs-based, solutions-oriented engineering. We are innovators. We are explorers. For us, it’s all about helping people.

After more than fifty years of pursuing excellence in engineering, we remain young in spirit and full of hope for the future. The advantages are evident in our optimism, confidence and innate drive to aim higher than others think possible. Our tools and technology create fuel from landfill gases; save lives in hospitals and operating rooms; provide safer roads and effective transportation systems; purify water and deliver it to those in need; enhance domestic security; contribute to space exploration and so much more.

Building upon four pillars of success – Experiential Learning, Impactful Discovery, Community Partnerships and Educational Leadership – we are educating a diverse group of engineers and problem-solvers to tackle global challenges. By providing our students with hands-on experience in real-world situations, a cutting-edge education and significant research opportunities all driven by community partnerships, we are cultivating the next generation of engineers and fostering innovative solutions that will positively impact lives.

Each day we work harder – relentlessly and creatively – shaping our understanding of mathematics and science for the greater good. We’re proving again and again that engineers have the will power and capacity to directly and positively impact the world around us. Our commitment to partnering with industry is unyielding. We continually seek to promote the influential nature of our achievements through effective partnerships. The success of our students, research and multidisciplinary solutions is a reflection of both the quality of education we offer and the rate by which we balance change with adherence to our foundational ideals and values. Through educational leadership, impactful discovery, experiential learning and community partnerships, our evolving vision to foster a global approach to engineering by capitalizing on the international perspectives and diversity of students and faculty is driving value in the community. 

USF College of Engineering – Innovation is our Passion

EToilet - USF College of Engineering
usf college of engineering - Robert H. Bishop


EToilet - USF College of Engineering
Environmental Engineering Professor Dr. Daniel Yeh, stands with the NEWGenerator that his research team invented with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The solar-powered machine, which is ready for commercial use, is part of an effort to solve global sanitation concerns.

The College of Engineering at the University of South Florida is at the forefront of engineering research and education, cultivating knowledgeable, passionate engineers who are dedicated to needs-based, solutions-oriented engineering. We are innovators. We are explorers.

For us, it’s all about helping people. As the only engineering research and teaching institution in Tampa Bay, our urban setting provides the college with a unique opportunity to attract creative and innovative talent.

After more than fifty years of pursuing excellence in engineering, we remain young in spirit and full of hope for the future. Alumni, students, and faculty are playing a pivotal role in the evolution of high-tech innovation in Tampa Bay. With hundreds of patents issued to both faculty and students, it’s fair to say that innovation is our passion. As a result of our entrepreneurial mindset, more than 200 patents have been issued to our engineering faculty in
the past five years.

Building upon four pillars of success – Experiential Learning, Impactful Discovery, Community Partnerships and Educational Leadership – we are educating a diverse group of engineers and problem-solvers to tackle global challenges. By providing our students with hands-on experience in real-world situations, a cutting-edge education, and significant research opportunities all driven by community partnerships, we are cultivating the next generation of engineers and fostering innovative solutions that will positively impact lives. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering launched a new bachelor of science in cybersecurity to prepare students for careers in one of the country’s fastest growing industries.

USF College of Engineering - mind drone
Students in the Neuro-Machine Interaction Lab control drones with their mind while wearing an EEG device that detects brainwaves and signals the drone to move.

Each day we work harder to shape our understanding of mathematics and science for the greater good. We’re proving again and again that engineers have the willpower and capacity to directly and positively impact the world around us. Our commitment to partnering with industry is unyielding. We continually seek to promote the influential nature of our achievements through effective partnerships.

Our success is a reflection of both the quality of education we offer and the rate by which we balance change with adherence to our foundational ideals and values. Our evolving vision to foster a global approach to engineering by capitalizing on the international perspectives and diversity of students and faculty is driving value in the community.

With our engineering enrollment skyrocketing to over 7,000 students in recent years, it is evident that the best and brightest minds are choosing USF to pursue an engineering education. Providing students with the opportunity to engage in real-world research, study abroad, innovate and collaborate across disciplines and present their research at scientific conferences, it’s no surprise that our student retention rate from first to second year is over 92 percent. We are producing a world-class talent pool for the emerging Tampa Bay high-tech community, especially critical to attracting topnotch start-ups and established companies looking for a highly creative environment.

USF College of Engineering
Students in the Robot Perception and Action Lab work to bring intelligent robots into daily life as well as medical robots, unmanned aerial vehicles and neurorobotics.

The College of Engineering is partnered with U.S. Special Operations Command and the Doolittle Institute at SOFWERX to craft a highly innovative environment that includes student interns, faculty fellows and emerging research in small satellite, unmanned aerial systems, cybersecurity, resilient communications and other key areas that support the SOCOM mission. Our partnership is characterized by speed and agility — key attributes of a robust solutions-focused initiative with energetic creativity and innovation.

We are pushing the boundaries in innovation at the leading edge of biomedical engineering, environmental engineering, audiology, transportation, rehabilition robotics, design and prototyping, wireless and microwave technologies, materials, clean energy, nanotechnology and entrepreneurship. Our new Department of Medical Engineering offers a unique experience for students with faculty comprised of both engineers and physicians. The Global Center for Hearing and Speech Research is the number one research center in the world for age-related hearing loss. Our Center for Urban Transportation Research is an internationally-recognized resource for policymakers, transportation professionals and the public. Our environmental engineering program is an internationally-recognized provider of water and wastewater solutions. The Center for Assistive Rehabilitation and Robotics Technologies engages in life-changing prosthetic research increasing independence and community reintegration of individuals with reduced functional capabilities.

The center works with patients throughout Florida and locally at the Haley Veterans Hospital. The Mini Circuits Design for X Laboratory is a unique, collaborative maker space for students to pursue meaningful multidisciplinary engineering projects that move ideas from design to prototype. The Institute of Applied Engineering is partnering with government organizations to perform research in autonomous systems, human performance enhancement, cybersecurity and electromagnetic specrum security, transporation and energy infrastructure and large scale data analytics and operations research.

The USF College of Engineering is uniquely positioned as a key member of a vibrant preeminent research university to provide both engineering solutions and well-educated engineers and innovators to the Tampa Bay area.

USF College of Engineering - robot

4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Phone: +1-813-974-3780
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twitter: EngineeringUSF
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linkedin: 4505243
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USF Connect – Innovators Paving the way for Other Innovators

USF connect - Biofuel Conversion-03
USF connect - Biofuel Conversion-03
usf connect-logo-wordmark



There are innovators, and there are innovators who pave the way for other innovators. USF Connect is the latter.


It’s easy to think of universities as microcosms of thought whose impact is limited to academia itself. But through its support of local technology and bio-life startups, USF Connect is sharing the wealth—and to considerable ends.

Begun in 2001, USF Connect forms the lynchpin between three initiatives: the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator (TBTI); the USF Student Innovation Incubator (SII); and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council’s (The Corridor) Matching Grants Research Program. USF Connect provides new businesses access to everything from laboratories and scientific equipment to experienced mentors and networking events, not to mention every amenity available to USF faculty, staff, and students.

In 2017 alone, USF Connect aided 77 startups and accepted 25 others into the Student Innovation Incubator. Its economic impact on the Tampa Bay region for that year—23 counties in all—is estimated at $395 million.

The variety of companies under USF Connect’s umbrella is as impressive as the support it provides them. Take KeriCure, a line of all-natural wound-care products for humans and animals alike. Dr. Kerriann Greenhalgh, a USF alumna, created KeriCure after her husband-to-be nearly lost his hand to small but infected cut; the over-the-counter methods they’d tried failed them completely. Anyone who’s heard of liquid bandages has likely come across KeriCure.

USF connect - Patent Wall

Another company in the USF Connect incubator is Molekule, a revolutionary indoor-air filtration system first developed to mitigate inventor Dr. Yogi Gaswami’s son’s asthma. Existing HEPA filters only trap the largest of spores and impurities, and after becoming saturated, simply release many of these undesirable particles back into the air. Conversely, Molekule’s Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) technology targets and destroys pollutants 1,000 times smaller than traditional HEPA filters, and all it releases into the air is carbon dioxide, water, and trace elements.

In the same way that Molekule’s and KeriCure’s innovation lies in their pure and noninvasive solutions, so does NeuX use thoughtful technology to solve a common but serious problem—in this case, chronic pain. NeuX, a medical technology and health and wellness company, developed Interactive Neuromuscular Stimulation (INS) as a non-addictive, non-pharmaceutical, and non-invasive means of treating chronic pain of nearly any cause.

USF connect - COP-HIET
USF connect - Marine Sciences-Robotic Glider-02

Says Valerie Landrio McDevitt, USF’s associate vice president for technology transfer and business partnerships: “Their [NeuX] goal to help people of all ages live a more active lifestyle, free of pain and injury through continued clinical studies and biomedical engineering research, is an easy mission to get behind.” But like a port upon the ocean, an incubator is not meant to house its occupants forever. And so, when companies like Agilis Biotherapeutics are scooped up by larger companies eager for the incubated ones’ technologies, it is a sure sign that USF Connect is fulfilling its mission.

Agilis Biotherapeutics developed a platform for gene therapy that targets AADC deficiency, Friedrich’s ataxia, and Angelman syndrome, each of which presents as a debilitating neurological disorder. Now, they have been acquired by PTC Therapeutics, an international powerhouse with a mission to treat patients with rare disorders.

“We…have had a very positive experience in the Incubator program and with USF,” said Mark Pykett, DVM, Ph.D., and President and Chief Executive Officer of Agilis Biotherapeutics. “The TBTI resources and people, along with funding opportunities like the Florida High Tech Corridor’s Matching Grant program, can help companies progress to the next level.”

Nomenclature like “incubator” or “accelerator” can make a layperson believe that an incubator or accelerator’s impact is simply beyond comprehension, that their work takes place on a level that is meaningless outside of the lab. But just a glance at the companies under USF Connect’s umbrella reveals that something they all—including USF Connect—have in common: they provide innovations that change people’s lives, for the better, every day.

4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Phone: 813-974-2011
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usouthflorida |

Judy Genshaft – All Great Cities have Great Research Universities

USF Judy Genshaft
usf logo



As the state’s first public research university to be located in a metropolitan region, the University of South Florida System has always been proud of its relationship with the Tampa Bay community we serve.

USF Judy Genshaft

“USF ranks 25th among public universities
for research spending.”

We live in an era when the public increasingly depends on research universities to be a key driver of global innovation. In response, our researchers and scholars are bringing incredible new ideas to life as they help students prepare to share their creative talents locally and globally.

It is that passion for making life better that powers our commitment to innovation and invention. USF is the nation’s fifth leading public university in generating new United States utility patents, and ranks 12th among universities worldwide in this key measure of innovation. We continue to stand with some of the world’s most prestigious institutions in this highly competitive arena, including the University of California System, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Stanford University. On a global scale, 2018 was the eighth year that USF ranked in the top 20.

USF faculty members have invented new technologies to assist people with disabilities and fight cancer with nanotechnology. Their innovations are converting waste to liquid fuel and they are creating the systems that run robots and augmented reality. Our faculty is making significant contributions to our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and brain injury, helping find solutions to potentially life-threatening food allergies, and developing ways of ensuring the sustainability of coastal communities and essential resources such as food, energy and water. These are just a few of the many ways USF is shaping the future.

USF ranks 25th among public universities for research spending – a metric used to chart the level of research activity at American institutions – according to the National Science Foundation. Ranking in the top 25 nationally reflects USF’s dramatic rise as a public research university. In 2017, USF’s annual research expenditures were $558 million, more than triple the amount from the early 2000s.

The NSF ranking is a key indicator of our commitment to life-changing research. So is our designation by the Florida Board of Governors as a Preeminent State Research University – one of only three in the state. It is truly a new era of progress and success at USF, and we are just getting started. We are making significant investments in our residential, academic and research facilities, including our new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. This project, in the heart of the Water Street redevelopment project, symbolizes who we are and what we stand for as a university and a community.

USF’s talented and passionate faculty, staff and students share an unwavering commitment to improving lives here in Tampa Bay and around the world. As we work together to solve some of our most pressing challenges, we make an immeasurable impact for generations to come.

Thank you for your support.


Script – Spend More time Teaching & Less Time doing Paperwork

script team
Script Logo
script team


Script is a workflow automation solution that processes and digitizes paperwork for schools so that the focus can be on what’s really important, teaching. Process automation was previously only available to large corporations with multi-million dollar IT budgets, however now it can be perfectly tailored for schools at an affordable price. Whether approving purchase orders from principals or sending Human Resources paperwork to new teachers, it is the solution to achieving a more effective and efficient way of dealing with administration. Schools around the nation are using Script to eliminate rooms of filing cabinets, increase efficiency, save money and achieve new levels of financial accountability. Script is the best way for schools to spend more time teaching and less time doing paperwork.


Script co-founders

Script was founded by Aaron White and Patrick Cahill two years ago, while Aaron was the IT Director in the Florida school system. Aaron saw the growing need for all the administrative functions of running a school to be streamlined and automated. This paved the way for the Script App to be developed with the help of his co-founder, Patrick Cahill. The app caters for both the school and the parent. The parent app allows parents to manage their children’s emergency contacts, sign permission slips, pay for field trips and make payments for things like yearly fees and tuition. Teachers can easily plan and manage school activities by using a student roster to automatically route notifications, payments and release forms to the correct parent. Every payment, permission slip and parent response can be viewed in the Script dashboard so that everyone, from teachers to bookkeepers, has the data they need to do their jobs more efficiently.

One of the tools of the app is the Individual Digital E-File Automation (IDEA) Model which delivers actionable insight to determine how process efficiency impacts both the school’s and district’s administrative procedures. Until recently there has not been a standard to evaluate procedure efficiency in the central office of education.

What has been missing is a Standards-Based approach to assessing an entire district’s current state of affairs, and a comprehensive solution to bringing the district into the 21st century. School district workflow automation streamlines digital asset management, which facilitates the adoption and coordination of impressive software, such as personalized learning programs, dynamic assessment tools, digital curricula, and more. Solutions such as Script work with a district to analyze their current workflows and look for areas of improvement. Additionally, the IDEA model can be used and adapted for colleges as well as independent education associations. Districts who have adopted workflow automation have seen increases in efficiency across the board, and teachers who utilize a student performance dashboard report higher student growth, along with feelings of confidence and high morale. With less time spent grading and tracking performance, the teacher has more time to facilitate collaborative discussions and hands-on projects that engage students.

Aaron and Patrick envisage growing Script organically and making this app available to schools both nationally and internationally, so that the administration function can be focused on student safety, building relationships with stakeholders, and at the same time be freed from the time-intensive burden of paperwork. Script will strive to continue creating and improving on standards for school process efficiency.

Aaron White, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Patrick Cahill, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer
Phone: 1 (888) 607-2747
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College of Physicians of Philadelphia – Birthplace of American Medicine



The College’s Fellowship now includes more than 1,000 physicians, medical professionals, and distinguished members of the community, who serve as advisors for staff, mentors for youth programs, and ambassadors for the institution.

Our mission to “advance the cause of health, while upholding the ideals and heritage of medicine” is accomplished through our collections, engaging exhibitions, informative public health forums and youth programming that reaches an audience, not only in Philadelphia, but across the world. The Mütter Museum continues to draw an increasing number of visitors with its unique assemblage of medical specimens, artifacts, and instruments on display. These medically-significant artifacts continue to inform visitors and educate future medical professionals, supported by the Historical Medical Library that operates as an independent research library devoted to the history of medicine. Within its vast collection, the Library houses more than 12,000 rare books – many of which have been digitized, allowing for students, researchers, popular writers, and artists to have greater access than ever before. These collections continue to provide priceless narratives on the study of medicine as an art and a science.


The Fellows and staff of the College have committed themselves to supporting the next generation of health professionals and increasing diversity in the medical field. Our Karabots Junior Fellows Program, Out4STEM, Girls One Diaspora Club and TEVA Pharmaceutical Internship Program provide academic support and college preparation through lab-based activities, field trips, and participation in public health forums. An astounding 94% of students enrolled in our programs through our Center for Education go on to college after high school graduation.

Our award-winning continues to be one of the College’s most popular initiatives and is a participant in the World Health Organization Vaccine Safety Net and U.S. National Immunization Conference. The information is now available in five languages and continues to be linked to by respected public health organizations globally. In 2018 there were over two million unique visitors to the site and it continues to be a leading source in the global public health conversation.


What is Our Future?
The College is embracing the challenges of the 21st century by embarking on an ambitious plan to reconfigure its spaces within a National Landmark Building, while seeking to preserve what is best about its original design. This plan also seeks to provide sustainable funding sources for key positions to ensure programs are bolstered to face future needs, in order for the Fellows and staff of the College to continue to encourage deserving youth to fulfill their dreams.

For the first time in its history, the College will seek to physically join the spaces of the Museum and Library and create new designated learning spaces to ensure the College can expand to meet the future in medical education, public health, research, and exhibition planning.

A new rare book exhibit will invite the public deeper into the Library’s extensive collection for the first time, and a much needed expansion to the gallery spaces will increase our exhibition spaces by 82% allowing for more of the museum’s collection to be visible and better movement for our 183,000 and more annual visitors. From providing vital public health expertise in the spread of deadly viruses like yellow fever in 1793, to the Mütter Museum’s viral appeal on social media in the 2000s, this 18th century medical society is flourishing in the 21st century.

Phone: 215-563-3737
twitter: @collegeofphys | @muttermuseum | instagram: muttermuseum
facebook: @collegeofphysiciansofphila | @muttermuseum | youtube

UMA – A Comprehensive Healthcare Educational Institution

UMA - graduation
uma logo


UMA - graduation


Ultimate Medical Academy was founded 25 years ago as a nonprofit school with a single campus in Clearwater, Florida. Today, UMA is a comprehensive healthcare educational institution with a national presence.

Institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), UMA has more than 45,000 alumni. The school offers contentrich, interactive online courses to 15,000 students across the country as well as campus-based training to hundreds of students at its Clearwater Campus.

UMA - Graduation Ultimate Medical Academy

With a mission to equip and empower students to excel in healthcare careers, the UMA experience includes individualized student services throughout all phases of the student journey, from admissions to the job search. UMA students have access to academic advising, one-on-one or group tutoring, resume and interview coaching, job search assistance, technical support, and more. The school also supports alumni in finding new jobs, progressing in their current positions, and enhancing their skills to remain competitive in the job market.

As an employer of 2,000 faculty and staff in the Tampa Bay area, UMA looks forward to building relationships and telling others about the work we do to equip and empower students to excel in healthcare careers. In fulfilling our mission, we are also helping to drive upward mobility for families and communities while helping to fill the healthcare skills gap in the Tampa Bay area and across the nation.

UMA Students
UMA - facebook


UMA was founded in 1994 as Ultimate Learning Center, Inc., a nonprofit educational institution serving the Tampa Bay community’s need for trained nursing assistants and other healthcare professionals.

Over time, UMA recognized the growing need for trained professionals in other healthcare specialties and employers’ needs for multi-skilled staff, so it began to offer a wide range of programs focused on developing allied healthcare professionals. In 2009, UMA launched online allied healthcare courses to students throughout the U.S.

UMA - Clearwater
UMA - office

In 2015, UMA added a continuing medical education (CME) division that includes Global Education Group, Med Learning Group, and Complete Conference Management. These divisions create innovative and award-winning programming to maximize the learner experience and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes. UMA’s CME division provides CME to physicians and other healthcare professionals. Maintaining active credentials is a mandatory requirement for most practicing physicians, and UMA provides education that meets the diverse needs of this busy professional community.

Each year UMA convenes passionate local and national healthcare and education experts to participate in dynamic conversations on perspectives in innovation. Most recently UMA hosted the inaugural 2018 360 Summit: Perspectives on Healthcare Innovation, which followed on the success of its inaugural 2017 K-20 Education Summit.

Phone: 813-676-6175 | Email: | facebook: UMAonline | twitter: UltimateMedical | instagram: UltimateMedicalAcademy | youtube: UltimateMedical |

USF is the State’s Leading Metropolitan Research University

USF bull
usf logo
USF bull


It’s difficult to imagine an academic system more engaged with and devoted to local and global communities than the University of South Florida is.


To think of Tampa isn’t to think automatically of a college or university town. But in taking a closer look at the University of South Florida, perhaps Tampa doesn’t seem like the “town to the gown” because USF has so seamlessly integrated itself in its local and regional communities.

Yet the University of South Florida focuses on global research and it is the state’s leading metropolitan research university. Its curriculums, regardless of college, reflect this, as does its commitment to interdisciplinary projects and studies. At the heart of USF’s mission is innovation to the benefit of all.

Take for instance the university’s Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway. First made available as a course of study in 2017, the program enables students on USF’s Sarasota- Manatee and St. Petersburg campuses to earn Bachelor of Arts degrees in nursing and in biology over the course of five years. This double-degree offering creates excellent value for nursing students, regardless of whether they decide to enter the field as soon as possible or to continue their studies on completion of the degree. The program brings students from USFSP and USFSM to the main campus in Tampa, where they experience and work with state-of-the-art equipment as part of their training, but clinical rotations take place closer to the students’ home campuses; that is, in Pinellas, Sarasota, or Manatee Counties.

USF - Nursing-sim-lab

“Coming together as the USF System
enables us to create this type of important
educational program,” says Donna
Petersen, ScD, and interim dean of USF’s
College of Nursing, “optimizing the
best elements of the component parts,
maximizing the benefits of the system,
and meeting compelling community
needs across the Tampa Bay region.”

The advent of the Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway is just one of many ways USF’s College of Nursing is “preparing 21st-century nurses to promote health and wellness in our community and around the world.” The college is ranked number one in the state, and 22nd in the country, for funding from the National Institute of Health, and its global nursing initiative allows students to earn credits while providing health and wellness outreach in Panama, Scotland, and St. Croix. Back at USF’s campus, simulation laboratories prepare nursing and other medical students for real-world medical situations long before they enter the workforce. USF is the only fully accredited university in Florida in all areas of assessment, research, system integration, and teaching and education, a designation awarded by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

Other colleges of USF Health are no less innovative. The College of Pharmacy’s Healthcare Imaginarium for Exponential Technologies™ (HEIT™) is, in its scope and ambition, exactly as exciting as it sounds. A bid to ensure the college’s continuing and absolute relevance, the HEITs™ represent the interdisciplinary collaborations and community partnerships that set USF apart.

USF Mobile
USF connect - COP-HIET
USF _ Hiet Talk

One HEIT™ incorporates virtual-reality content, supplementing existing curriculums of the College of Pharmacy with life-like simulations. The digital imagery comes courtesy of a partnership with local digital content creator MediaLab 3D Solutions and also with BioLucid, and exemplifies USF’s eagerness to find solutions within its community.

Students control the virtual experiences by means of handheld devices paired with a set of VR goggles, and the combination places them almost literally inside the human body. For example, the goggles’ field of vision might be a larger-than-life artery clogged with plaque, and the student can watch as a stent is placed to allow the blood to flow once more. Such three-dimensional and immersive experiences cater especially to visual learners, for whom textbooks and even videos fail to fully convey meaning, but regardless of their learning style, every student will have come as close as they can to real-life medical procedures, similar to how their College of Nursing peers will have done in their simulation labs.

Another HEIT™ garnering attention and support is the establishment of the Botanical Medicinal Research Consortium, which brings together researchers and clinicians of the Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, USF’s Center for Drug Discovery and Innovation, and other companies in and outside of Tampa, for the purpose of discovering evidence-based benefits of noneuphoric cannabis. Collaborators in the latter category include ANANDA Scientific, a manufacturer of nonpsychoactive and non-abusive oral cannabinoid health products, and also the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, one of the first academic programs to investigate cannabis in order to inform decisions of public policy and public health.

Other HEITs™ include a collaboration between the Muma College of Business and the College of Pharmacy known as the Entrepreneurial Academy, where future pharmacists can learn to think like entrepreneurs in order to improve health outcomes and improve the cost efficiency of their practices. The College of Pharmacy has also partnered with the College of Engineering to explore the use of nanotechnology in dispensing medications, so that both the target site and the amount are optimal for the patient. Finally, WE-CARE (Workgroup Enhancing Community Advocacy and Research) and the College of Pharmacy have combined forces to increase the number of “minority and medically underserved populations” in clinical trials on genomic research.


The forethought and compassion of these initiatives is obvious, and these qualities define other programs and partnerships throughout USF’s colleges.

The College of Marine Science, for example, partnered with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to send an autonomous robotic glider—think of one of those torpedo pool toys but at least five times that size—to seek out the organism K. brevis, which creates the red tides the Gulf and Florida coasts are often subject to. The team sent the glider 25-50 miles out from Clearwater Beach, tracking its progress along the continental shelf between Pasco and Sarasota Counties, where they suspected the organisms had drifted.

For 20 out of the past 25 years, Robert Weisberg, PhD, and Distinguished University Professor of Physical Oceanography, and his team have been able to account for those years’ red tide blooms, or the lack of them, and their research monitors the K. brevis that surrounds the coast. Currents, storms, and human activity have roles to play in the organisms’ travels— and its blooms—and Dr. Weisberg and his team tell that story. It is an especially important one because of the red tides’ effect on fish, seabirds, and sea mammals; the neurotoxins released during K. brevis’ blooms can cause illness or death, and humans who ingest contaminated shellfish can experience severe reactions. To know when and where to expect these blooms helps an ocean-dependent state to plan for and mitigate the red tides’ effects, and USF’s College of Marine Biology generates much of this information.

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Meanwhile, in Florida’s interior, other USF scientists have turned their attention to a far less scenic feature than the state’s oceans: its landfills. Thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Energy, a team led by Drs. Babu Joseph and John Kuhn has been working to extract biogas to be converted into biofuel. Currently, landfills’ biomass (mainly comprising food scraps, lawn clippings, and agricultural waste) is converted to energy through burning, then converting that heat into electricity. But converting the landfills’ methane and carbon dioxide into biofuel results in so many more uses, since biodiesel can be used almost anywhere. In any case, the biomass found in landfills is an existing resource—and an unsavory one— which makes it the perfect candidate for energy conversion, especially since the gas it releases is harmful to the atmosphere. The one billion tons of biomass produced annually could, once converted, replace up to 30% of the petroleum consumed in the U.S.

Currently, converting biogas to biofuel is a two-step process; the first step uses a catalyst to create carbon monoxide from the methane and carbon dioxide, and the second uses a different catalyst to then convert the carbon monoxide to biofuel. Dr. Joseph and Dr. Kuhn hope to find a way to make it a one-step process, “making the entire method more efficient and feasible to be scaled up,” Dr. Kuhn explains.

USF’s College of Public Health is also attending to a pressing matter that could have enormous and positive consequences globally. International researchers from the Welcome Sanger Institute, led by Dr. Julian Rayner, and a team of USF scientists, led by Dr. John Adams and Dr. Rays Jiang, have discovered “the core repertoire of essential genes” in the world’s deadliest strain of the malaria parasite. Their findings were published in the May 2018 issue of Science.

Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for 90% of malarial fatalities and 50% of all cases of malaria, which proves the potency of its threat.

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“What our team has done is develop a way to analyze every gene in this parasite’s genome,” says Dr. Adams. “Using our genetic analysis tools, we’re able to determine the relative importance of each gene in the genome for parasite survival. This understanding will help guide future drug development efforts targeting those essential genes.”

The genes Dr. Adams mentions number in the thousands: 6,000 to be exact. By analyzing, identifying, and ranking each one, the teams discovered that 3,300 of the parasite’s genes are essential to its survival—though 1,000 of those have functions yet to be discovered.

Still, as author on the study Dr. Jenna Oberstaller notes, “This parasite is traditionally very difficult to genetically manipulate in the lab for a number of technical reasons. So, we’ve effectively gone from knowing only a few handfuls of this parasite’s essential genes, to defining essentiality of the
entire genome.”

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With multi-drug-resistant strains on the rise, this breakthrough is certain to increase the efficacy of future treatments and diminish the danger the parasite presents.

Though it’s nowhere in the university’s mission statement, it’s hard not to feel like the University of South Florida’s goal is to save the world. The scope of its collaborations and projects reach far beyond Tampa, and every innovation to its curriculums or to its degree programs empower students to find not simply jobs but vocations—which in turn improve the lives of those they touch. Its commitment to community, both local and global, set an example that anyone anywhere would be wise to follow.

4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Phone: 813-974-2011
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USF | The University of South Florida | – Future Cities

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USF is both attracting the best and the brightest to its state-of-the-art facilities while also bolstering its surrounding communities.


The University of South Florida System appraises its campuses’ cities with an eye toward more than just what university-specific buildings might go where. Three recent and major projects in Tampa and St. Petersburg demonstrate the depth and consideration of USF’s planning and care for the communities of which USF is part. The university system has forged powerful and never-before-seen partnerships, to the benefit of students, faculty, and residents.

The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute will find a new home in Water Street Tampa, a revitalized area of downtown along Hillsborough Bay. The waterfront area is the world’s first WELL-certified city district, meaning it provides— among meeting other criteria—a number of healthy eating options, access to community gathering spaces (as for group exercise classes), and an emphasis on residents’ health. The Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute will be an anchor of the district, and the move will bring 1,800 students, faculty, researchers, and staff nearer to its primary affiliate Tampa General Hospital and also the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, among other facilities.

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Such a robust presence of medical researchers and providers promises to bolster each institution, in the way that iron sharpens iron. Every dollar of funding from the National Institute of Health, for example, is predicted to spark $2.35 in local economic activity, and the attractiveness of the area and facilities ensures both an increase in medical school applications— and thus in applicant quality—which in turn helps retain more physicians eager to make a home in the area. Thanks to USF’s involvement, Water Street Tampa is fast becoming a thriving ecosystem of symbiotic relationships.

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Meanwhile, on USF’s main campus, the opening of five new residence halls have increased the population of students residing on campus to 6,300, pushing the percentage of degree-seeking undergraduates living in university-owned, controlled or affiliated housing to over 25%. These numbers may seem insignificant, but consider, national research shows that students who live on campus for at least one year are more likely to graduate—and sooner—than their counterparts who never live on campus. The residence halls—Beacon, Summit, Endeavor, Horizon, and Pinnacle— represent a real investment in students’ wellbeing.

The residence halls are also a landmark collaborative event in Florida’s history: the $134 million public-private partnership with Capstone- Harrison Street (a partnership in turn of Capstone Development Partners, LLC, and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital) is the largest in the existence of the State University System. It is also the single largest student-housing project the Florida Board of Governors has ever approved.

The halls’ amenities show a real attentiveness to students’ holistic wellbeing in their inclusion of The Hub and The Fit. The Hub, a Green-certified building, features nearly 500 indoor and outdoor seats, a coffee shop, and an onsite, registered dietician onsite to provide free nutritional counseling for meal-plan holders. Smart Tables, private collaborative spaces, and a 30- top dining room available by reservation are just a few of the amenities available for students.

The Fit, a state-of-the-art, 19,000 square foot facility, offers cardio- and weight-training equipment, an outdoor swimming pool, and a Center for Student Wellbeing, which makes available electronic massage chairs, nap pods, sleep packs, bean bags, soothing music, InBody composition analysis, and wellness tips and information from trained staff.

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On the campus of University of South Florida St. Petersburg, the student-housing initiative continues. Once complete, the newest residence hall at USFSP will enable 20% of enrolled students to live on campus—a 70% increase in the overall capacity to do so. The development’s funding was part of the Florida Board of Governor’s decision on the USF housing project, showing just how cohesive the USF system really is. Plans for development also include an affordable dining hall with a variety of menus, meal-plan options, and longer opening hours.

The USF System has paved the way for Tampa and surrounding areas to become sought-after places to live and study, and the support it has leveraged from the state government and local private companies should prove its viability to even the most skeptical of residents and observers alike. In considering cities of the future, Tampa is a forerunner and a beacon the country and world over.

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4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Phone: 813-974-2011
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