Divya joined the Times in 2016 as an editorial assistant after getting a master’s degree from Columbia University. She covered community news in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties before taking on the higher ed beat in 2020. “I find it to be fascinating because it’s a microcosm of everything else in the world — and one ripe with power imbalances.”
And USF, she says, is known in the state for being young and scrappy. But increasingly, it wants to be seen as a national player. It cracked the top 50 in the US News list of public universities last year and described itself as the nation’s “fastest rising university,
” climbing nearly 50 spots in the last decade.
Our partnership, supported by The Kresge Foundation and Helios Education Foundation, will allow us to incorporate Divya into our network, work with her on in-depth stories, and help the Times hire a new data reporter for their education team.(Here’s the job ad for that data reporter position.)
Carolyn Fox, the managing editor of the Tampa Bay Times, said education is a cornerstone of the newspaper’s coverage: “Schools — from K-12 to colleges and universities — are a major employer in our region. And what happens within those institutions have an impact on both the people that work there and students across the bay area.”
With this addition, our local network now has eight partners in eight different states. California, Cleveland, Colorado, El Paso, Indiana, Mississippi, and Pittsburgh are the others. Our goal remains to get to 25 partners by the end of 2024.