USF St. Petersburg campus held its second annual Bay to Bay Learning Symposium on Friday, February 9, 2017. The symposium focused on how our faculty can better prepare our graduates for the workplace of tomorrow. The full-day event featured two dynamic speakers who addressed the challenges our students face once they forray into the world of work.

Dr. Mark Pezzo, the chair of USF St. Petersburg campus's psychology department, kicked-off the symposium by setting the stage for the day’s topic. He highlighted Gov. Rick Scott’s Ready, Set, Work challenge to all state universities to fully employ all of their graduates from their top two majors, which includes psychology. Mark discussed how the psychology department was meeting this challenge head-on with a plan of action that included feedback from the community and an agile strategy to implement that feedback.

Dr. Phil Wagner followed with an insightful presentation full of audience participation. Each table had a broad cross-section of stakeholders that including faculty, members of the business community and students who worked as a team on a sample course. Team members collaborated to create innovative active learning assignments that featured the key skills employers are searching for in their new candidates; critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. This novel approach kept everyone fully engaged and demonstrated how active learning can work in any class, regardless of discipline.

The symposium closed on a high note with Seth Mattison. Seth is an expert in near-term workforce trends and offered a broad perspective of the work climate and how it is currently evolving. Seth built on the concepts that Phil introduced by providing key insights from his business clients from Microsoft to Disney. Supporting his new book, The War at Work, Seth illustrated the tension between traditional hierarchy structures in the corporate world, juxtaposed against a new perspective of an interconnected web where information flows in any direction, not just from the top down.

The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) and Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services (OLITS) would like to sincerely thank all those who attended. This was a collaborative effort which could not have been done without the support of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library and its staff, and the supportive administration of USFSP.

Please view the short video below that captures the energy and interviews from the event.

Browse the contents of 2017: Teaching and Learning for the Workplace of Tomorrow: