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Fourth-grader brings home 
Little Miss Florida title Crimson Freeman of Tampa now holds the title of Little Miss Florida United States. The 2016 Miss Florida United States Pageant took place last month in Daytona Beach. Crimson is a fourth-grade student at Dale Mabry Elementary and is part of the Steele Fins group. She has been a volunteer at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay along with her parents, Kim and Justin Freeman, since she was 6 years old. Crimson hopes to join the U.S. Air Force like her grandfather, Ret. Lt. Col Richard Gibbs, and become a K9 dog handler.
Fourth-grader brings home Little Miss Florida title Crimson Freeman of Tampa now holds the title of Little Miss Florida United States. The 2016 Miss Florida United States Pageant took place last month in Daytona Beach. Crimson is a fourth-grade student at Dale Mabry Elementary and is part of the Steele Fins group. She has been a volunteer at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay along with her parents, Kim and Justin Freeman, since she was 6 years old. Crimson hopes to join the U.S. Air Force like her grandfather, Ret. Lt. Col Richard Gibbs, and become a K9 dog handler.
Published May 6, 2016

USF professor elected to Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

Yogi Goswami, University of South Florida professor of chemical engineering and director of the Clean Energy Research Center, was one of seven to be inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. He is being recognized for his pioneering contributions and technology development related to solar energy and indoor air quality. Goswami, along with his fellow honorees, will be inducted at the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame Third Annual Induction Ceremony & Gala on Sept. 16 in Tampa.

The Eye Doctors receive 2015 Best Practices Award

The Eye Doctors received Cooper Vision's 2015 Best Practices Award. Their approach to patient education, which includes iPads in each examination room that provide informative videos on symptoms, eye diseases and planned procedures, is one of the things that set them apart from other nominees. Another is that employees are allowed a degree of autonomy in their work and that each one sets their own career path.

Hillel Academy's new science lab honors local psychiatrist

In March, Hillel Academy's middle school science lab was named in memory of Arthur J. Forman, thanks to a donation from the Forman family. A special dedication, which included the Forman grandchildren, took place to honor the Tampa Bay area psychiatrist who had a deep love of Judaism. He was a member of Rodeph Sholom and a staunch supporter of Hillel Academy.

Eagle Scout gives back to former childcare facility

Staff at the Baby Bungalow were discussing the possibility of a new playground that would create an outdoor environment to encourage almost unlimited learning opportunities. Their idea came to fruition with the help of Tim Glisson and his son Trevor (a former Baby Bungalow attendee), who is working toward his Eagle Scout designation. Trevor met with April Beck and other staff to design a master plan, which included hopscotch, a balance beam, platform touch station, bamboo curtain, a bridge over a rock river, a PVC music station and bungalow fort. Members of the Eagle Scout's troop joined Trevor to assemble and install the Natural Playspace components, put in a fence and spread mulch. The space was dedicated in April.

Smith & Associates ranked nationally among Real Trends 500

Smith & Associates Real Estate, a Tampa owned and operate firm, was listed among the Real Trends 500, which ranks the top residential brokerage firms based on the number of complete transactions and value of transactions. The firm made the Top 500 list in both volume and sides. Real Trends is an annual research report of the nation's top residential real estate brokerage firms. The data provided by firms each year is independently verified.

Givens Givens Sparks intern named Law Student of Year

Givens Givens Sparks' legal intern, Elizabeth Devolder, was chosen as Law Student of the Year by the National Jurist. As a law student at WMU-Cooley Law School in Tampa, Devolder was one of 25 students around the country to be included in the publication's inaugural list. The review team searched for exceptional students with a wide range of interests and in Devolder's case, a non-traditional student profile. Devolder is a mother of two, the editor-in-chief of the WMU-Cooley Law Review, a teaching assistant and has a nearly perfect GPA. Her husband also just graduated from law school in January.

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UT professor wins national prize for best book of verse

Erica Dawson, University of Tampa associate professor of English and director of the MFA program in creative writing, recently won the 2016 Poets' Prize from the West Chester University Poetry Center. The Center awards the prize annually for the best book of verse published by a living American poet two years prior to the award year. A committee of 20-25 internationally renowned poets nominate about 50 books. Dawson also received a cash prize and will read from her work at the May 19 awards ceremony hosted by the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City. She specializes in contemporary American poetry, Shakespearean drama, the Cavalier poets and aesthetics and poetics. She is the author of two collections of poetry and her poems have appeared in numerous publications.

St. Peter Claver School earns scholarship grant

St. Peter Claver Catholic School was awarded a $25,000 educational grant from the Dr. Chris & Debbie Swain Charitable Fund. The grant will be used for educational tools and scholarships.

"For 122 years, St. Peter Claver has been at the center of the educational, spiritual and values formation of African-American children in Tampa and the majority of students are from economically challenged backgrounds," said Sister Maria Babatunde, principal. "This gift will assist in the classroom and also provide scholarships for St. Peter Claver students, ranging from VPK to eighth grade."

Local attorney earns professionalism, pro bono service award

The Hillsborough County Bar Association announced that Katherine Yanes, with the law firm Kynes, Markman & Felman, P.A., was awarded its annual Marcelino "Bubba" Huerta III Award for Professionalism and Pro Bono Service. Yanes completed more than 430 hours of pro bono work last year. Most of her pro bono hours went toward the Clemency Project, which is a national effort by lawyers and advocacy organizations to provide assistance to federal prisoners who would likely have received shorter sentences if they had been sentenced today. She, along with the help of her law partner, have submitted more than 50 clemency petitions and two of their clients have had their prison sentences commuted by President Obama. Yanes has also represented several clients through Crossroads for Florida Kids, which assists with pro bono representation of children in dependency and delinquency proceedings.

Hillsborough Clerk of Court wins Best Practices Award

Hillsborough County Clerk of Court and Comptroller Pat Frank was honored with a prestigious Florida Excellence Best Practices Award for a major restructuring that improved customer service, increased efficiency and enhanced communication. The reorganization created the new customer service center at the Edgecomb Courthouse, where the public can pay traffic citations, make child support payments, file civil suits and conduct numerous other transactions. The award is based on the nationally renowned Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award and honors public and private organizations that demonstrate performance excellence in customer service, workforce and organization.

USAmeriBank establishes scholarship fund

USAmeriBank announced a partnership with the Women in Leadership and Philanthropy program at the University of South Florida to help support female students within the USF system. The bank has committed to a five-year agreement that includes the establishment of the WLP/USAB Endowed Scholarship Fund. As part of the partnership, USAB was named the presenting sponsor of the inaugural WLP Student Symposium this year and will also sponsor the Fall Symposium VIP Reception.

Since its founding in 2005, WLP has distributed more than $418,000 in scholarships and faculty research awards and boasts a 97 percent graduation rate among its scholarship recipients.

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