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Senator Harrell, District 25 — Press Release


April 20, 2016

CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 339-7087

President-Designate Negron Visits FPU, USF, NCF on State University System Tour

Incoming Senate President to Hear from Students, Faculty and Administrators at all State Universities During 4-Day Statewide Tour

Sarasota —

Florida Senate President-Designate Joe Negron (R-Stuart) today visited Florida Polytechnic University (FPU), the University of South Florida (USF) and the New College of Florida (NCF) as part of his 4-day listening tour of Florida’s State University System.

Senators Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Ft. Myers) and Anitere Flores (R-Miami) joined President-Designate Negron for each stop on today’s tour. Senators Oscar Braynon (D-Miami), Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) joined the tour for the visit to Florida Polytechnic. The group visited the Innovation, Science and Technology Building and met with students working on the RAD Maker Space 3-Dimensional printer. They also toured the university’s virtual library space and a Biology Integrated Outlook (BIO) expo where students presented research projects. The final portion of the visit included an open dialogue with students, senior faculty and administrators, which included an update on the accreditation process.

“Without full accreditation, students cannot qualify for Pell Grants or federal student loans, so I applaud the University for working to raise money for scholarships so students are not penalized financially for the provisional status of the university's accreditation,” said President-Designate Negron.

Senator Braynon and Senators Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), Tom Lee (R-Brandon), John Legg (R-Lutz), Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater), and Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) joined the group for the visit to the University of South Florida. The Senators toured a number of student innovator exhibits and had the opportunity to meet with students and discuss student-patented inventions and student-owned companies, with product demonstrations in student-built robotics and other similar exhibits. Later, Senators participated in a roundtable discussion with student leaders, faculty and administrators.

“It was great to see the entrepreneurial spirit of so many USF students who presented their inventions,” continued President-Designate Negron. “We also had a great discussion with students about the number of college credit hours they earn while still in high school as well as the university’s efforts to help students find internships in their fields of study.”

Senator Galvano joined Senators Benacquisto, Flores and Negron for the final stop of the day at New College. The group met with students and administrators to discuss education options available at the university as well as student life on campus, given the unique style of the curriculum. Following a tour of the campus, Senators participated in a student-led discussion at the Center for Engagement and Opportunity (CEO), which focused on internship and job opportunities associated with the students’ Areas of Concentration (Majors).

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with students and learn about their Independent Study Projects and how they are building unique Areas of Concentration tied to specific career paths,” said President-Designate Negron.

Tomorrow President-Designate Negron will complete his tour of the State University System with visits to Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University.

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