Divya Kumar - Higher education and Nonprofits reporter

Higher education and Nonprofits reporter

I cover nonprofits and higher education and want to hear the stories, big and small, that make up these worlds. I got my start in journalism at King High School's student newspaper and the University of South Florida's The Oracle. I joined the Times in 2016 after earning a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Is there something about a nonprofit, college, university or higher education related issue you think people should know about? I'd love to hear from you.

  1. Students at the University of South Florida attend commencement ceremonies in a time before the coronavirus. This year's spring commencement, already delayed by the virus' spread, was canceled yet again on Thursday at the direction of the State University System. [Times (2018)]
  2. A group of about 100 protesters took to the streets of downtown Tampa and were eventually surrounded and arrested by Tampa Police on the corner of Madison st. and Morgan st. after midnight on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 in Tampa. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
  3. Owen Melin, a 22-year-old student at USF St. Petersburg, was killed last week during a home invasion near campus. A funeral was held Tuesday. [Courtesy of Matthew Lee]
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  5. Watson Haynes II is president and CEO of the Pinellas County Urban League, which joined Urban League chapters around the nation Monday in putting forth a 10-point plan to reform policing. Had the plan been implemented when it was first proposed six years ago, "the country would be very different,” Haynes said. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  6. Long lines for food distributions, like this one in early May staffed by Feeding Tampa Bay, are one indicator that the pandemic has forced a new group of people to seek help. Local nonprofits say the need is huge. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
  7. Mychael Latimer Jr., 3, stands in the intersection of N 22nd street at East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd where the road remained closed as protesters demanded justice for George Floyd and other victims of police brutality on Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  8. Protesters and local law enforcement clash at the University Mall Saturday in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  9. Protestors take to the intersection of 56th Street and Fowler Avenue Saturday in Tampa. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
  10. Saint Leo University announced it would close 17 of its campuses across the country. It plans to reopen its Florida campus in August, but close after Thanksgiving to contain the spread of coronavirus.
  11. USF officials announced Wednesday that fall classes will start in-person, then move online again after students and faculty travel for Thanksgiving break. [URSO, CHRIS  |  Times (2019)]
  12. Messages on Hillsborough Area Regional Transit bus shelters are intended to raise awareness of human trafficking. Local advocates say the pandemic is raising risks for trafficking victims. [Hillsborough Area Regional Transit]
  13. A visitor is greeted at the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce building, which was sold by the chamber in 2017. Recently, amid revenue losses from the coronavirus crisis, the organization laid off its president. [Times (2006)]
  14. James Downs, president of Good Samaritan Shipping Ministries, Inc. which provides shipping solutions to nonprofit ministries prepared a shipment of relief supplies to Puerto Rico. The group is one of 95,000 nonprofits in Florida. [LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES  |  Times (2018)]
  15. A health care worker prepares to collect a sample to test for COVID-19 at a drive-through testing site in Florida. The pandemic has prompted Empath Health, a Pinellas County nonprofit, to offer free counseling sessions for any health care worker in the Tampa Bay area. [WILFREDO LEE  |  AP]
  16. Largo High junior Ashley Kadau is one of this year's finalists for the Walker's Rising Stars scholarship competition. Like other finalists, her Walker's performance has been posted to the Pinellas Education Foundation's YouTube channel. [YouTube]
  17. A playgroup of toddlers run by Layla's House in Sulfur Springs has moved to Zoom during the shutdown. [Courtesy of Champions for Children]
  18. A candlelight vigil in Zephyrhills marks National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a campaign that occurs every October. Advocates in Tampa Bay are concerned that a decline in domestic violence reports during the coronavirus shutdown means victims are not reporting incidents. [Times (2010)]
  19. The campus of the University of Florida, where a graduate student has filed a class action lawsuit against the State University System seeking a refund of fees. [University of Florida]
  20. Flatwoods Conservation Park re-opened Monday. While some were there the minute it re-opened, the park was not crowded. [DIVYA KUMAR  |  Times]
  21. Like many nonprofits, ECHO of Brandon has been forced to pare back during the coronavirus crisis. A new fundraising event, Giving Tuesday NOW, aims to address their needs. Set for Tuesday, May 5, #GivingTuesdayNOW will happen in addition to the traditional Giving Tuesday in December. [Times (2008)]
  22. An electronic sign alerts drivers Wednesday, April 29, 2020 in Clearwater. Pinellas County leaders decided to open the beaches on May 4. [CHRIS URSO      |  Tampa Bay Times]
  23. Claudia Fernandez, left, a puppeteer with Champions for Children, introduces "Sabrina" to a child during a 2017 event to raise awareness of child abuse in Florida. The puppets are used to educate children on the four kinds of child abuse. Champions for Children, a Tampa nonprofit, recently secured a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program to help prevent layoffs during the coronavirus crisis. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times (2017)]
  24. Program facilitator Janise Danzy, center, checks on 6-year-old Trinity Sims, left, and Aria Shoop, 5, at Girls Inc. in Pinellas Park on Wednesday. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]