USF student creates meaningful art

Inspiration takes people in many directions. When you mix it with raw talent, great things usually happen.

21-year-old Jeanine Patrick, a business marketing major at the University of South Florida, hails from Orlando, Florida. She has always been interested in art and creating.

“I’ve been doing art since I was a little kid, probably like five or six, but I began taking it serious four years ago when I entered college,” Patrick said.

Recently, her casual hobby has turned into something much bigger—6 feet, to be exact. Her paintings are large, detailed and filled with rich colors. Some pieces even have three-dimensional aspects.

Patrick uses oil paint to create her art on large canvases that she buys in stores or makes herself. The pieces range from tasteful nude portraits to conscious pieces about the criminal justice system.

“I gain inspiration from things I see in my daily life. My pieces are abstract with realist themes,” Patrick said.

Patrick’s work has been showcased locally in the Tampa Bay area through art galleries and live painting events. After graduation, she plans on creating art full time.


04-16-2015 Florida Focus

In this Florida Focus Episode: A Ruskin mail man causes a commotion in D.C.; A woman robbed a Circle K in Pinellas Park; A Pasco County break-in leads to a shooting. The Tampa city council is deciding on the Hillsborough River sea wall graffiti; The playoffs start tonight in Tampa for the Lightning.


University of South Florida Student Recitals

The University of South Florida’s School of Music currently features its own junior and senior students during recital season.

Recitals are a part of both junior and senior music majors’ curriculum.

Junior and music education major Kelsey Donahoo had her clarinet recital March 31.

“I was just so excited to show everyone all these technical abilities that I’m able to do,” Donahoo said. “Once I took that final bow I was thinking ‘Wow, that’s another big step towards graduation. It’s almost here.’ ”

Students are responsible for not only picking and practicing their musical selections, but reserving the room and getting the word out too.

They create the flyers that are posted throughout the School of Music as well as the programs that are handed out to people as they walk into the Lewis and Enid Barness Recital Hall.

“I think it’s a great bonding thing for everybody,” said physics major and vocalist Regina Battista. “I think it’s such a great opportunity for everybody to learn and for everybody to learn about each other as well.”

Recitals take plenty of preparation with music students practicing many months prior to when recital season starts. They also have weekly lessons with their assigned music professor to practice their pieces.

“In college you’re mostly in your ensembles and then I’m focusing on teaching,” said Donahoo. “So to be able to build up my clarinet professional skills up to this level to be able to perform my own solo performance was an amazing experience.”

Recital season will continue until the end of the month.

Florida Focus 03-10-2015

In this Florida Focus News Brief: Florida is the latest victim of a cyber security attack, the USF School of Mass Communications is receiving a 10 million dollar gift, police are searching for a suspect who attempted to kidnap a boy, deputies are conducting a murder investigation in Pasco county, and the Florida Aquarium is celebrating their 20th anniversary.


Florida Focus 02-24-2015

In this Florida Focus Episode: A Tarpon Springs home catches fire; Tampa Police battle a new crime trend targeting food delivery drivers; Moffitt receives grant for cancer research; gas prices begin to rise; 19 manatees are rescued from a drain pipe.


Spanish restaurant in Tampa still dances with tradition

 Ybor City’s Spanish and Cuban restaurant, the Columbia, was founded by Casimiro Hernandez Sr. in 1905. The Spanish traditions of the restaurant have been carried through family generations for over 100 years.

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“I enjoy the food here,” said Columbia customer Mark Anthony Puglio. “The food here is excellent. It always has been, since I was young.”

Continue reading “Spanish restaurant in Tampa still dances with tradition”

Tampa Bay Brewing Company Expands

Tampa Bay Brewing Company is expanding their business with a new restaurant and brewery in Westchase. Construction is underway on site and the expected date of completion is spring of 2015.

The brewery will be 13,000 square feet and the indoor and outdoor restaurant will be a combined 7,000 square feet. It is nearly 16 times bigger than the brewery they are in now. The new brewery will feature six fermenters, two bright tanks, a water treatment facility and a complete packaging line.

“When we started designing this project the goal was to take what we have in Ybor, with a great restaurant and great food, and replicate it over here in the Westchase location,” said Mike Doble, owner of Tampa Bay Brewing Company.


The Tampa Bay Brewing Company offers up to 12 beers on tap at any one time. The most popular beer on tap is old elephant foot IPA which ranks in at 7 percent alcohol and has a very hoppy taste. Following closely behind is reef donkey which ranks in at 5.5 percent alcohol and has citrus notes.



It wouldn’t be a brewpub without food. Tampa Bay Brewing Company serves a lot of traditional pub dishes. Head Chef John Boyle is infusing several entrees such as their signature meatloaf and shepherd’s pie with the beer they brew. Each week they have a special menu for Friday and Saturday nights. Boyle prepares all the meat himself by trimming each piece. This week it was lamb.

“All of the food here is good,” Boyle said. “I mean it really is. Whatever palate is yours, I mean I don’t think anyone would come in this restaurant and it would be a hard decision for them of what they would want to eat,” said Boyle.


Customers can sign up for the mug club membership. Pay your annual dues and you will receive your own t-shirt and mug as well as discounts on the beer.


The Doble family started the brewpub back in 1995. Tampa Bay Brewing Company is the oldest brewpub in the state of Florida and it lies in Centro Ybor on 8th street. It features an indoor and outdoor seating area and you can check out the people making the beer because the brewery is located inside the restaurant. Once you open the two double doors, your nose is greeted with the great smell of beer.


Big John’s Barbeque Cooks Up Ribs That Keep You Coming Back


Tampa, Florida – The secret to keeping customers coming back for more than 42 years is simple to the Stephen’s family, “consistency.”

The family-owned business located on the corner of North 40th Street is known around the city for having a family-like atmosphere and most importantly, good barbeque ribs.

“Nobody cook ribs like Big John’s Alabama,” said customer Steve Patterson, “I’ve been coming here since 1975 and I’ve eat ribs all over the country, including Alabama and nobody’s ribs taste as good as Big John’s.”

Continue reading “Big John’s Barbeque Cooks Up Ribs That Keep You Coming Back”

Buddy Brew roasts coffee uniquely to create art and culture


Established in 2010, Buddy Brew Coffee seeks to provide Tampa and its visitors with an unparalleled coffee experience. As a single origin roaster entirely in-house roasting, Buddy Brew features the highest quality beans, rather than blending different types of coffee.

“We only buy the highest quality coffee beans, and they come from all over the world. We just got some in today that came from Colombia,” says Roast Master Phil Holstein. “We’ll play with those until we figure out the best temperature to roast them at and how long, and then we go from there.”

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“Roasting in-house is something that most coffee shops don’t do anymore, but it allows us to listen to the customer and really pay attention to what they like and don’t like,” says Buddy Brew Coffee Owner Dave Ward. “We are also able to sample different coffees from around the world and really manipulate them to find which profiles work best for us.”

Buddy Brew is locally recognized for its talented baristas and unique decor. Each barista goes through specific training so they can make every cup of coffee a work of art. Even the coffee accessories are pieces of art.

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Dave Ward and his wife, Susan Ward, are both the founders and owners of Buddy Brew Coffee. Coffee has played a significant role in their relationship since it began, and they turned their love of coffee into a hobby.


“Buddy Brew Coffee was really born out of me and my wife’s passion for coffee,” says Ward. “As a matter of fact, the first thing I ever even bought her was a coffee maker. How romantic is that, right?”

Dave and Susan began roasting coffee beans at home and were shocked to find how much of a difference the freshness made on the taste of the coffee. They began sharing their coffee with family and friends, and soon the word spread and the demand for Buddy Brew Coffee required a full-time employee.

“Susan and I both quit our jobs and began to do this full-time. Four months later, we hired an intern, and he became our first employee and he’s our store manager today. His name is Josh Bonanno, and he’s a great guy. Today we have 40 employees, and that number keeps growing,” says Ward.

“I love working here because the customers are so nice and give so much positive feedback. It’s a great environment to be in, and you really get to build relationships with the people that come in here,” says Barista Gabrielle Hekhuis.

Buddy Brew recently added beer and wine to their menu, and extended their hours of operation. Buddy Brew has also added a “brew truck” that travels to local events and private parties. For more information, visit

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Survive and Thrive


Chris Roederer, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Tampa General Hospital

Chris Roederer grew up in Fern Creek, Ky., just outside of Louisville. He comes from a family of seven, including four siblings, his parents and himself. All his family is from the Fern Creek area. He graduated Fern Creek High School, and then attended Western Kentucky University. He graduated there with a bachelor’s in public relations and an emphasis on broadcast with a minor in communications. His wanted to be a broadcaster, so he studied journalism and broadcasting and worked at several radio stations while in college. In addition to his intellectual education, he was also working as a housekeeper by the age of 14 at his mother’s nursing home, where he was in charge of doing floors. He then worked as an orderly there and later at a hospital while attending college.

After graduating college, Roederer tried finding a job in public relations or broadcasting. This was in 1979, when unemployment rates were very high. To make ends meet, he worked with his father at the home store, American Standard, which was hard work. His job was to make sinks, which required the use of an 1800-degree furnace, working all night from 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 in the morning. Not only that, but he also continued to work at his mother’s nursing home as an orderly. After a while, however, he decided that he did not want that to be his job for the rest of his life, so he returned to graduate school in 1980 to study organizational communications with an emphasis on human resources.

Roederer went back to Western Kentucky. After studying for one year, he was only four classes short of his degree, but he already had four job offers from several companies, including Vesta Laboratories, Xerox, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Humana. In 1981, and Chris decided he wanted to go into healthcare, so he took the position with Humana, which was a training program to become a human resources administrator. His first job was in Orlando, which was intended to be a one-year training program. After six months, Humana offered him the position of director of human resources at 22 years old. Roederer was offered his first head of human resources (HR) job at a small hospital in Morristown, Tenn., which was his second hospital with Humana. The third hospital he worked at was in St. Petersburg, Fla., only ten months later. After three years, he transferred to a hospital in Louisville, where he worked part time as the director of HR and as an employee relations specialist for the corporate office.

The following year, Humana transferred him to a women’s hospital in Tampa, Fla.. Humana wanted him to look into the employee relations situation and union activity there. After straightening that situation out, Roederer spent three years there as a director, but soon he would have a career decision to make. St. Joseph’s Hospital was planning to buy Tampa Women’s Hospital, so he had to choose to either be unemployed or become the head of human resources at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, which was much larger hospital and the largest for-profit hospital in the country at that time. He worked there for three years until Humana asked him to go to Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, but he did not go there because of the cold weather.

While looking for other opportunities, Roederer received a phone call from a recruiter who asked him to look at a hospital in California. He took the position of vice president of Human Resources at the Eisenhower Memorial Hospital, The Betty Ford Center, the Sinatra Children’s Center and the Annenberg Center. He was the vice president for four years there.

After that assignment, he took a position doing executive compensation work for nonprofit health systems and working with boards. This would allow him time to spend with his daughter, who was growing up in Kentucky. He only had this position for a year and a half, due in part to the travel requirements. His job involved constant traveling, with over 500 flights in a year and a half and almost six days a week in transit. His area was supposed to be the southeastern United States, but he ended up travelling to places such as Oregon, San Francisco, Texas, Los Angeles, New Jersey and North Carolina.

In 1996, one of Roederer’s clients in Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center offered him the position of their first vice president of HR, where he stayed four years. He then received two job offers, one in Miami and the other at the City of Hope Clinical Cancer General in Duarte, Calif.. He was happy with his position at Moffitt but he was intrigued to work at one of the finest cancer centers in the world, so he took the position. He started out as senior vice president of HR. After over six years, his job evolved to include more responsibilities. He became chief corporate services officer, and his duties included HR, six unions, environmental services, dietary services, information technology, facilities, construction, safety, security, grounds, volunteer services and education. This covered nearly all of the support services, except finances, for the 102-building campus.

He wanted to return to Tampa when he noticed his parents were aging, so he asked around at the HR department at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) about opportunities. He already knew Ron Hytoff, the former chief executive officer of TGH, so he accepted the position of senior vice president of HR at TGH. Since then, he has stayed there for the past seven years.

In addition to his professional life, his personal life has been good, as well. He is married to Anita, a homemaker, with two sons, a daughter and their dog named Lily. He is active is his local church and because he wants to give back to the community, he is on the boards of several different organizations, including the Boy’s And Girl’s Club of Tampa, the AfterOurs Urgent Care Centers and is on the selection committee of the Outback Bowl. He is also active in fundraising for several organizations, including TGH.

One of his passions, which he works into his fundraising efforts, is his large collection of rare bourbon. He has a collection of over 120 bottles of the rarest bourbon around. He hosts bourbon tastings at his home, called Taste of Kentucky, and people from all over the world come to marvel at his collection.

Chris Roederer has a busy life and career but he loves reaching out to people. His motto is “survive and thrive.” He has made the Tampa Bay area his home for years now and he loves the area and all it has to offer. He even likes the area enough to want to end his career there.

Cafe Literato brings European atmosphere near Purdue University

Café Literato transports the essence of European coffeehouses to the local area.

Open for more than a year, the small family owned cafe is located conveniently between Purdue University and the business district of West Lafayette. From the creators of local restaurants such as Cristos and Red Seven Bar and Grill.  The cafe was created exclusively with locals in mind.

Owner John Cristos and his family came up with the brick oven pizzeria and cafe concept.

“The name actually comes derives from the Italian word ‘literati’, which means somebody who pursues scholarly pursuits,”Cristos said. “We thought that was a nice tie-in with the university and that’s where Café Literato came from.”

The restaurant provides customers with access to a coffee bar and a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Many people come to the restaurant to study or to just get a light meal. Patrons can order menu specialties including the BBQ Pork and Corn Pizza as well as the chocolate and spice chai lattes.

While many individuals enjoy the creative menu items, others are drawn to the new age decor and architecture. Customer Nathan Lord says the restaurant’s atmosphere is what brought him in.

“I kind of like how the different sections, you can actually get a little bit of privacy while still having an open atmosphere,” Lord said.  “I like the decor. I’m a fan of wood paneling and stuff, so I really like the decor and tables. It’s just friendly and inviting.”

Chef Felisha Clifton thinks it’s the adaptive nature of the restaurant that sets it apart.

“People can come and relax and study or they can meet friends for lunch,” Clifton said. “We are one of the only few places in town that has a brick oven, as well as a full coffee bar. So it’s nice to be able to come in and you have your full access to the coffee bar and also a full lunch menu.”

For more information on Café Literato, including the menu choices, visit

USF community retaliates against sexual misconduct on campus

In the wake of recent incidents on campus, USF committees are getting active in educating students on the dangers of sexual harassment.

According to the USF Police Department, two women were met by a stranger late at night on Nov. 4. They were approached on separate occasions within less than 30 minutes of each other. The situations escalated to inappropriate personal contact before the male suspect fled the scene.

Continue reading “USF community retaliates against sexual misconduct on campus”

The face of USF’s Gamma Phi Beta seasons with busy life as re-elected president

USF’s Panhellenic Community congratulates President Ashley Gabriel as she enters her second term. (Photograph retrieved from Panhellenic Sorority Life Facebook Page.)

Thirty emails answered, two homework assignments completed and one chapter read from her textbook “Operations Management.” While many of her peers at USF are still in bed or fighting to stay awake in their 9 a.m. labs, Ashley Gabriel has already crossed off a few items on her to-do list. Continue reading “The face of USF’s Gamma Phi Beta seasons with busy life as re-elected president”

Sharon McCaman and USF’s dance film revolution

Sharon McCaman is excited about this year’s Dance Shorts Student Film Festival. She knows that this year will be different, but she can’t quite put her finger on how. Perhaps more people will submit their original dance films. Perhaps the gala, where patrons view the work of the finalists, will be grander.

Perhaps it will be different this year because it is her final year running the show.

“It’s almost a little unnerving, for a couple of reasons – one, to know that I have to relinquish the outcome on a level,” said McCaman. “I have to walk away and say ‘Bye, see you later’. But in another way, to know that in ten years if this is still happening, I started that! It’s weird.”

McCaman started dancing when she was just 4 years old. She danced at her performing arts middle school, her performing arts high school, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and a small dance company in Lakeland. She even danced in Las Vegas. But then, for five years, McCaman wouldn’t practice her craft at all.

During her hiatus from dance, her life moved in a different direction. She worked as a promotions assistant at an alternative rock radio station, moving up the ranks through various marketing and sales positions.

“So much of my job required me to be innovative and forward thinking,” said McCaman. “Although it was challenging, it afforded me the opportunity to be imaginative and artistic. That’s how I always knew I would go back to dancing, that need to create is inherent in me.”

When her reunion with dancing finally came, something amazing was born – Dance. Film. Revolution.

It was in Professor Andee Scott’s choreography class that McCaman discovered a genre of dance known as dance for film. Inspired by the way technology and dance came together to create this subset of dance, she came up with the idea to host a festival, where students at universities across the country could submit short dance films. Dance. Film. Revolution is a student organization created for that very purpose, producing the Dance Shorts Student Film Festival.

“We were at the library working on a big dance history paper, we kept switching gears between the paper and the festival, and by early morning, we realized we still hadn’t done this paper,” said Jacqueline Dugal, former treasurer for Dance. Film. Revolution. “That was the moment when we both realized it was going to be a really big feat to get this done, not just a side project. That night, Sharon dropped history.”

In 2013, the first year of the festival, there were 29 submissions from universities all over the country, with 16 states represented at the festival. Creating and overseeing a festival of that size was a lot of work, but McCaman’s spirit never wavered.

“She’d been coming to me with grand ideas from the beginning,” said dance professor Andee Scott. “She’d always been thinking about ways to present the work of students in the community. She knows how to dream big, and that’s good.”

With a whole team behind her, McCaman anticipates that this year’s festival will be bigger and better than the last. She hopes than in subsequent years the festival will continue to grow and reach more artists looking for an audience.

“We all want to feel valued and we all want to feel like what we do means something on some level,” said McCaman. “We want to know that we’ve been the best human beings we can be, that we’ve done the most we can do.”

The Dance Shorts Student Film Festival is currently accepting submissions for this year’s festival, and interested parties can learn more at the official website.

Ayla Horan: Lambda Theta Alpha’s Helping Hand at USF

Ayla Horan is a Spanish major at USF and a Lambda Theta Alpha member.


Students slouch around the Marshall Student Center in sweatpants and squeaky, soaked sneakers,  umbrellas dripping at their sides. Everyone seems to be falling asleep to the dull patter of rain falling against the building’s roof and windows, until one female’s laughter breaks through the dreary ambiance.

Ayla Horan hugs and greets several acquaintances on her way inside the student center. She flashes a huge smile, pushing her long brown hair to one side as she adjusts a bulging burgundy Greek emblazoned tote bag.

Leaving her friends, she answers several new text messages on her phone. Horan’s online presence only underlines her outgoing and social personality. Online there are photos of herself with sorority sisters and friends abound—one can’t help but notice her many involvements and accomplishments at USF. Horan seems to do, and have it all.

However, a second look shows her to be much more than just a polished social butterfly of a sorority girl.

“I grew up always being told, ‘You’re going to be just like your parents. You’re going to amount to nothing,’” Horan said.

She grew up outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey, in a house broken by crime and drugs. Horan’s mother did drugs up until she was born; her father, an alcoholic, drug addict and robber, was in and out of jail. Continue reading “Ayla Horan: Lambda Theta Alpha’s Helping Hand at USF”

Florida Focus: 11-24-2014

In today’s episode of Florida Focus: a police officer shot and killed a firefighter; a motorcyclist died in a crash earlier this morning; Metropolitan Ministries is serving families this holiday season; and Bay St has been transformed into an ice palace.