New shared community space prepares to welcome USF Health students
There was plenty of activity at the new USF Health Student Services Center as workers installed furniture in the new collaborative space, one of the final steps before support staff from all four USF Health colleges moved in Jan. 2.
Designed with input from students, faculty and staff as a way to enhance services the USF Health colleges and schools currently provide students, the project is right on schedule for its grand opening , said Joe Ford, assistant vice president for USF Health Shared Student Services.
The official unveiling of the Center, as well as the announcement the Center’s new name, which was chosen among submissions provided by students and staff, is set for noon on Thursday, Jan. 16.
“Our first step was to truly integrate support for USF Health students from the four colleges and the physical therapy and biomedical sciences schools in one place and this new Center meets that goal and more,” Ford said.
The initial phase included a complete renovation of the front half of what was the USF Medical Clinic. The colleges occupy the main sections of the Center but are connected in a cohesive way, providing a sense of unity in the shared space.
“We wanted the groups to come together in this shared space primarily as a central place for students, but also to bring staff together to share ideas for doing much of the same types of services, and to forge new ways of working in teams,” Ford said. “We want it to be student service centered, while facilitating talking with each other to improve those services.”
In addition to student affairs, financial aid, and registrar services, the Center also includes computer support, USF Health Service Corps, and multiple spaces for students to meet and study, from open lounges and a computer bar to enclosed conference rooms and quiet study spaces. Students from throughout USF Health – including the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and the Schools of Biomedical Sciences and Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences – are welcome to make use of the Center.
More than 50 staff members have filled offices in this first phase of the project. Additional phases will come later, Ford said, including proposed plans for a wellness center with a fitness center, a dining facility, and additional meeting space.
Story by Sarah A. Worth, photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Office of Communications