Letters from Leadership

From Brett Kemker, PhD

Regional Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Student Success and Vice Provost

The past year has proved that our community possesses an unshakable ability to thrive and find opportunity in a time of great challenge. Even as we face ongoing uncertainty, we have been nimble in the adaptation of policies to ensure the success and ongoing safety of our campus and our community. Our success can be attributed to the actions of many – actions that reflect the core of who we are as a campus and a university. Together, we remained committed to an unparalleled mission to explore and innovate.

Throughout the global pandemic, as an institution of higher learning we empowered our students, faculty and staff to embrace new ways of succeeding, both personally and academically. As researchers, we expanded our community of discovery to examine and effectively translate issues that affect and inform the future. And as people, we bonded in a shared commitment to the well-being and compassion of others.


Research: USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus

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Photo of Sandra JusticeToday we traverse a new normal. Technologies and skill sets unfamiliar to many just two years ago are now second nature. We engage virtually and in person thanks to platforms and modalities in which sharing courses, information and research is easier than ever before. Our community of partners, mentors, students and neighbors has grown, exposing opportunities for innovation and collaboration even in a world that at times has felt shut down or closed off.

We have persevered and will continue to do so. As knowledge sharers, scholars and scientists, we have not wavered in our forward momentum. The faculty and student research that has occurred and that is ongoing at USF is proof of our commitment to tackling issues that are meaningful and vital to everyday life and the relationships we have with one another.

While such impactful research is important at any time, it is even more relevant today as we determine and maneuver our paths forward with new knowledge created.

From Sandra Justice, CRA

Associate Director, USF Research and Innovation

Photo of Sandra JusticeWhy research?

To echo American researcher Vannevar Bush, science is the endless frontier.

Research paves the way to discovery and provides students unique experiential learning opportunities,strengthening creative and critical thinking. Today’s incoming freshmen are tomorrow’s leading artisans, educators, writers, inventors and trailblazers. This includes cultivating a research ecosystem through mentoring students, sharing the significance of their work with the community, building partnerships with industry and connecting with colleagues in other fields to dig into the more complex, interdisciplinary questions.

Ultimately, researchers are truth seekers.

Everyone has a role to play in the research mission of the nation. Standing at the nexus of research ecosystems as student researchers, scientists, computer engineers and educators, we engage and partner with our community in our pursuit of new knowledge and application of new practices.

Across the three campuses at USF, there are 1,125 labs –more than 436 thousand square feet of dedicated space allocated to research. This includes vivarium for animal studies and labs with highly sophisticated equipment used to advance research in health,technology, chemistry, biology and more. The research facilities on the Sarasota-Manatee campus represents 0.3% of the labs, just 0.1% of the square feet at USF. Humble beginnings with big sky aspiration. Imagine what we will accomplish with the proposedNursing and STEM building!

As the only preeminent global research university for this community, we will attract world-class faculty, engage students in hands-on research and translate their learning into the highly valued skills sought by today’s competitive marketplace.

I am honored to lead the research office on the Sarasota-Manatee campus and take this role very seriously; connecting campus faculty to collaborators across the research enterprise and fostering research connections with our community partners such as Easterseals, Perlman Music Program/Suncoast and the Brain Health Initiative. When we all respond to the call to arms for research, we contribute to a robust, creative and inclusive ecosystem that drives innovation