FSU’s credit rating tops among state universities


Florida State University’s credit rating tops among state’s public universities

FSU has the highest-rated credit of any public university in the state of Florida and is one of only eight public universities in the United States with an AA+ rating or better from both S&P and Fitch, the university has announced.

This is based on the latest credit ratings released by S&P Global, Fitch, and Moody’s.

S&P affirmed Florida State University’s AA+ Rating and the various ratings for the university’s outstanding revenue bonds (AA- Housing, AA+ Parking, AA+ Wellness Center) with a stable outlook.

Fitch affirmed FSU’s AA+ Rating and the AA Ratings for the university’s outstanding revenue bonds (Housing, Parking, Wellness Center, Research Foundation) with a stable outlook.

Moody’s maintained its Aa2 Rating on the university’s outstanding revenue bonds (Housing, Parking, Wellness Center) with a stable outlook.

Kyle Clark is vice president for finance and administration at Florida State.

Real estate veteran named executive director of FSU Real Estate Center

Yvonne Baker, a successful real estate veteran with more than three decades of industry experience, has been named executive director of the Florida State University Real Estate Center. 

Michael Hartline, dean of the College of Business where the center is housed, said Baker, most recently a regional managing partner at Franklin Street in Orlando, will start April 5.

Baker will be responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the center’s activities. This includes planning and delivery of the center’s TRENDS conference and other industry-related activities, as well as the assistance the center provides the real estate program’s students and faculty. 

FSU’s Real Estate program currently is ranked at No. 5 nationally among programs at public institutions by U.S. News and World Report. 

Dean Gatzlaff, the Mark C. Bane Professor who has directed the center since 1995, is scheduled to retire in 2022 and will work with Baker during the transition.

Baker holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in real estate from the University of Central Florida.

NAAIA Scholarship to encourage diversity in risk management field

The National African-American Insurance Association Florida, has committed to making a $660,000 endowed gift to the College of Business to establish the NAAIA Florida Endowed Scholarship in Risk Management/Insurance.

According to Charles Watkins, a founding board member and treasurer of NAAIA Florida who serves on the scholarship committee, said while African Americans have made strides in increasing their numbers in the insurance industry at entry-level positions, there has been a historic struggle to retain and promote African-American talent to C-suite positions. 

The scholarship money will go toward recruiting and maintaining students from underrepresented populations, to enter the risk management and insurance field.

NAAIA Florida founding board member Maria Abate, who has spearheaded the NAAIA Florida Scholarship Program, said the organization selected FSU’s Dr. William T. Hold/The National Alliance Program in Risk Management and Insurance to partner with because it is recognized as one of the best in the nation and well-positioned to help NAAIA achieve its goals. 

FSU College of Arts and Sciences introduces new master’s program

Florida State University’s College of Arts and Sciences is launching an interdisciplinary graduate program this fall.

The FSU Interdisciplinary Data Science Master’s Degree Program, or IDS, leverages FSU’s strengths in computer science, mathematics, scientific computing and statistics to prepare students for careers in data science, one of the fastest growing fields in the United States.  

Nineteen faculty members from across the program’s major disciplines will guide students through coursework and major selections that meet their individual needs and goals. 

Applications for the FSU Interdisciplinary Data Science Master’s Degree Program are being accepted now through July 5, 2021. To learn more and submit an application, visit datascience.fsu.edu.

FSU recognized as silver-level bicycle-friendly university

Florida State University has been recognized as a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly University with an award from the League of American Bicyclists, the leading grassroots advocacy organization encouraging better bicycling and protecting the rights of people who bike.

The award recognizes FSU’s achievements in promoting and enabling safe, accessible bicycling on campus.

The Bicycle Friendly University program now includes 212 colleges and universities in 47 states and the District of Columbia.

FSU encourages bicycling as an easy option for transportation by equipping all Seminole Express and StarMetro buses with bike racks and providing bicycle racks outside of almost every building on campus.

Florida A&M University student begins Mercy Corps internship

Florida &M University student Rhamira Corbett has been selected as the Mercy Corps FAMU Agriculture Digital Communications part-time virtual intern for the spring 2021 semester.  

Mercy Corps internships give students a chance to do real-world research, learn the ins and outs of global relief and development work and gain exposure to a full range of nonprofit management issues.

Corbett, a senior Environmental Studies scholar in the School of the Environment, began her paid internship Feb. 1.

Corbett had  previous internships with Environment Florida and the Grove Museum. She is a native of New Carrolton, Maryland,

POLITICO journalists to discuss social justice , political divide at FAMU event

The Knight Chair Speaker Series will continue March 18, with another virtual event, “Politico@FAMU: Social Justice and the Political Divide.” The panel discussion will feature journalists from POLITICO.

The speakers include Gary Fineout, a journalist at POLITICO; Angela Greiling Keane, managing editor of states and Canada; Sabrina Rodríguez, immigration correspondent; John Yearwood, deputy editor for trade and agriculture and editor of global translations; and Maya King, national politics reporter.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Zoom and will be streamed live on Facebook.

For more information contact Professor Francine Huff Francine.huff@famu.edu

FAMU theatre presents ‘School Girls: Or, the African Mean Girls Play’ 

Florida A&M University’s College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Essential Theatre will present “School Girls: Or, the African Mean Girls Play.”

The production will stream digitally, beginning Wednesday, March 10, through Sunday, March 14.

“School Girls: Or, the African Mean Girls Play,” written by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Anedra Small, features Paulina, a beautiful, self-assured African teen who has her mind set on becoming the next Miss Global Universe. 

FAMU students may access the play free of charge by using their FAMU ID. The public can purchase tickets for $10 at  https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/13713/charles-winter-wood-theatre.

FAMU dean named chair of land grant university-related board

Robert W. Taylor, dean and director of Land-grant Programs for the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, was recently selected as chair of the Southern Administrative Heads of Sections for 1890 and 1862 Deans and Vice Presidents.

Taylor will lead the Southern AHS committee in fostering interactive discussions, planning, and actions across participating administrative units to enhance the effectiveness of Land-Grant agricultural colleges’ programs in the southern United States.

Taylor has served as CAFS dean and director of Land-Grant Programs since 2012.

TCC President Jim Murdaugh to address transitioning during pandemic

Tallahassee Community College is participating in the virtual Synapse Summit highlighting innovation impact.

TCC President Jim Murdaugh will speak on “When Disruption Strikes: Leveraging Technology to Transform Higher Education” at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 11.

To register for free, visit synapsefl.com/summit2021.

This session will highlight the work of the College through its CARE initiative, as well as innovative responses that launched a new paradigm for student success.

TCC is the only state college to be named as one of the Community Partners. The summit is March 8-11.

TCC’s Sister to Sister mentoring program to sponsor virtual sessions

TCC’s Sister to Sister is kicking off its “I am Woman” speaker series feature women leaders in education, business, STEM and psychology.

The series begins at 2:30 p.m. Monday. The speaker is Calandra Stringer, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at TCC.

She will discuss leadership lessons for women in education.

To participate or see a full list of speakers, visit tcc.fl.edu/SistertoSister.

TCC celebrates Women’s History Month with virtual celebration 

Tallahassee Community College is recognizing Women’s History Month with a series of virtual events.

The College will be honoring 15 women during a virtual Women’s History Month celebration, 10 from the community and five TCC students.

The virtual celebration will premiere at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, on TCCs YouTube.

The honorees are caregivers, mentors, consultants helping local businesses survive amid the pandemic and teachers keeping our children safe and healthy.

The 2021 community honorees are:

  • Leigh Davis
  • Talethia O. Edwards
  • Shari Lynn Gewanter
  • Kiera Jackson
  • Jennifer Leale
  • Kristan Morgan
  • Barby Moro
  • Liz Murphy
  • Earlene T. Preston
  • Julie Landers Smith
  • Student Honorees:
  • Jania Davis
  • Chloe Girod
  • Jayla Nickeo
  • Chrissy Seymore
  • Skylar Weston

Contact senior writer Byron Dobson at bdobson@tallahassee.com or on Twitter @byrondobson.

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