2023 IVLP Professional Exchange Programs
2023 Countries in Tampa Bay!
January 28 – February 1
"Countering Foreign Disinformation for Egypt"
Kicking off our 2023 IVLP professional programming year, this group of Egyptian investigative journalists and fact-checkers participated in a full-day workshop at the Poynter Institute. Leading off the workshop was Al Tompkins, Poynter senior faculty for broadcasting and online, with a lively look at the sources of the whys and hows of disinformation, misinformation and propaganda, and a deep dive into the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence on social media, and in newsrooms. After a great interactive lunch outdoors (January in Tampa Bay!), Alanna Dvorak, International Training Manager, International Fact-Checking Network, led the afternoon discussion on fact-checking techniques, and IFCN's global standards for fact-checkers. The following day featured an interactive session with Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Digital Communication, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, on how social media and new technologies can be employed to amplify messages, disseminate information and connect with a target audience, and introduce and provide exposure to the serious impact of the current threat posed by disinformation and deceptive news.
To close out the professional program, World Partnerships 2012 Egyptian alumnus Mohamed Maher, U.S. Correspondent for Al-Masry Al-Youm Newspaper talked with the group about the challenges of fact-checking and combatting disinformation while working in the US as a foreign correspondent.
March 2 - 7
"Global Public Health Challenges
for the Indo-Pacific and Central Asia"
An Inter-Regional Project
Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste, Vietnam
Whether communications challenges, or scientists and public health officials battling infectious disease and pandemics, or the scientists finding vaccines and other preventive measures, and the health professionals on the frontlines of the pandemic, this IVLP delegation experienced the full panorama of academic research, medical centers and journalism centers of excellence in Tampa Bay! This IVLP program showcased Tampa Bay's world-class scientists, physicians, health care professionals and administrators and a seasoned journalist who produced a daily column for over two years to help journalists better inform the global public about what was known, what wasn't known, and to sort through the misinformation and disinformation related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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April 12 - 19
"Countering Violent Crime
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Engagement With At-Risk Communities"
In collaboration with the St. Petersburg Police Department, World Partnerships organized a regionwide security and engagement program for Canadian law enforcement officers. Special thanks to the SPPD, the Tampa Bay Rays, Port Tampa Bay, the US Department of State Diplomatic Security Division, Tampa International Airport Police, the Seminole Tribe of Florida Seminole Police Department and the Security and Surveillance Divisions at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the Sixth Judicial Court, the State Attorney for Florida's Sixth Judicial Circuit, and Mr. Al Tompkins, retired senior faculty of the Poynter Institute for making this IVLP project of great value to your Canadian colleagues.
April 16 - 19
Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists
"New & Traditional Broadcast Media I"
A Multi-Regional Program
Argentina, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Barbados, Burundi, France, Ghana, Hungary, India, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Romania, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Suriname, Uzbekistan
After a three-year pandemic hiatus, this group was welcomed back to John Hopkins Middle School to "Meet the Press"! Nearly 30 middle- and high school "Journeys in Journalism" students interviewed our Murrow journalists about what inspired them to become journalists, what it takes to be a multimedia reporter, and what was there most challenging story. After the group discussion, the Murrows gave individual interviews to the student journalists, and participated in a podcast. Special thanks to Ms. Katlyn Stoneburner and the JHop team for creating a fantastic exchange. As one instructor said, this was "like taking a field trip around the world, but the world came to our classroom!"
During their time in Tampa Bay, the Murrows also met with Al Tompkins, retired senior faculty at the Poynter Institute; Rob Lorei, Managing Editor, "Florida This Week" at WEDU-PBS; and Rob Roa, Editor-in-Chief of Creative Loafing, and award-winning alternative weekly newspaper and website.
Special thanks to Chief Anthony Holloway and the St. Petersburg Police Department for their collaboration as TMSSW Law Enforcement Partner.
US Department of State Special Initiative
“Towards a More Safe and Secure World:
Cooperative Efforts in
Combating Transnational Crime”
Australia, Barbados, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Estonia, Eswatini, Ethiopia, European Union, Fiji, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong S.A.R., Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Macedonia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam
After a four-year hiatus during the pandemic, World Partnerships was honored to again host this US Department of State Special Initiative gathering of 68 IVLP leaders from 56 countries in Africa, Europe, the Indo-Pacific, Central Asia, the Near East and North Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. This three-day series of workshops focused on cooperative efforts in combating transnational crime. In collaboration with the St. Petersburg Police Department, our law enforcement partner for TMSSW, World Partnerships brought together speakers and panelists from law enforcement, the judiciary, research institutes and the United States military from local, state, and Federal institutions. TMSSW is an extraordinary gathering of professionals who combat transnational criminal organizations, terrorism and cyberwarfare every day, helping make our world safer and more secure.
IVLP visitors also enjoyed a Tampa Bay Rays-New York Yankees baseball game and engaged in a volunteer beach clean-up and community cookout at Fort DeSoto Park.
Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists
"21st Century Approaches to Print and Radio"
A Regional Project for the African Continent
Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tunisia
Leading off this quick visit at the close of their three-week program, these Murrows took a deep dive into trends in new media with Dr. Casey Frechette, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Digital Communication, University of South Florida St. Petersburg. In Tampa, the group had a lengthy Q&A with Mr. Rob Lorei (top right), Managing Editor, "Florida This Week" at PBS affiliate WEDU-TV. Closing out the program in the afternoon, Al Tompkins (bottom right), retired senior faculty at the Poynter Institute, outlined the challenges of misinformation and disinformation for journalism, and the pros and cons of emerging artificial intelligence tools in a fast-paced news environment. A Sunset Sail into the Gulf of Mexico provided a relaxed opportunity for reflection on their whirlwind visit to Tampa Bay!
June 10 - 14
"Closing the Skills Gap: Indigenous Education and Skills Training"
Education professionals from Canada's First Nations were welcomed to an array of exemplary skills training institutions in the Tampa Bay area, beginning with a visit with Mr. Herbert Jim, Tampa Culture Language Director of the Seminole Tribe of Florida at their Lakeland tribal housing project. Mr. Jim discussed how the Seminole Tribe’s Education Department in Florida works to foster the development of every Seminole child and adult through education, culture, and language.
The group then had a day-long opportunity for dialogue with "hands-on" skills education at the elementary, middle and high school levels, as well as post-secondary and "dual enrollment" programs. Mr. Michael McCullough (top), Curriculum Specialist, Industrial, Technology, Agri-science & Public Service Education, Pinellas County Schools explained how the Richard O. Jacobson Technical High School offers Pinellas County high school students the opportunity to step out of a normal high school day and into block classes which offer a unique, “real world”-style education, including the opportunity for students to earn industry-recognized certification. Our Canadian visitors visited "industrial classrooms" where students learn marine mechanics, veterinary sciences, building construction, and electrician training.
Their next stop was the Gus A. Stravros Institute, where Institute Director Ms. Ms. Patricia Jeremiah-Pittman (second from top) offered a tour and overview of Enterprise Village and Finance Park, the original paradigm for economic education (5th grade) and financial skills training (8th grade), and gave a hands-on rigorous demonstration of how the financial skills curriculum works using real-life individual scenarios to educate 8th graders on budgeting and "life" skills.
Closing out the day, Mr. Mark Hunt, Executive Director, Office of Career, Technical & Adult Education, Pinellas County Schools, and Dr. Jakub Prokop (bottom), Director, Pinellas Technical College - Clearwater Campus discussed PTC's 60 programs that provide postsecondary education focusing on 40 career areas, and to learn about PTC's corporate training programs and apprenticeships in 11 different specialties, as well as continuing education courses and commercial training services. Dr. Prokop conducted a whirlwind tour of the entire PTC campus, including the culinary arts kitchen, welding, electrician training, auto mechanics, plumbing, marine mechanics and cybersecurity.
"Strengthening Law Enforcement Public Relations and Community Outreach"
Armenian law enforcement public affairs officers engaged in dialogue with law enforcement training professionals, law enforcement leaders, and the judiciary and explored what St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway called "systematic reinforcement of positive perspectives of law enforcement."
Mr. Todd Kirchgraber, Director of Training Programs at St. Petersburg College's Center for Public Safety Innovation discussed the CPSI training approach to law enforcement communications best practices. Chief Holloway welcomed the group to SPPD and led a discussion of his approach to community policing and the importance of building real relationships between law enforcement and the community they serve. Ms. Yolanda Fernandez, Division Manager, SPPD Community Awareness Division, spoke of her decades as a journalist and how it has informed her role at SPPD, the use of social media for law enforcement communication, and the importance of systematic communication with the media and the public.
Mr. Bruce Bartlett, State Attorney for Florida’s Sixth Judicial Circuit, discussed his role as a State Attorney, the responsibilities of the Office of the State Attorney, and how his office engages with the media and the local community to foster positive relationships and enhance public understanding. Closing out the program, Rev. Kenny Irby, Director of the SPPD Community Intervention Unit, emphasized the building of "authentic relationships" between the department and the community, and engaging in "dialogue not diatribe". He provided an in-depth look at the many youth outreach programs SPPD has, and led a lively discussion with the Armenian group on volunteerism, service and dealing with the needs of the community.
June 27 – July 1
Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists
"Research and Investigation"
Albania, Azerbaijan, Belize, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Hong Kong S.A.R., Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea,
Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Republic of Tanzania, Thailand, Zambia
Neither flight cancellations nor delays could deter this engaged and energetic group of journalists from enjoying their time in Tampa Bay and diving into their professional programs! World Partnerships 2012 Egyptian alumnus Mohamed Maher (top left), U.S. Correspondent for Al-Masry Al-Youm Newspaper got things started with a highly-interactive session on combatting disinformation while working in the US as a foreign correspondent. Mike Deeson (top right), retired senior investigative reporter for WTSP-CBS, led a lengthy discussion on how investigative reporting gives "voice to the voiceless", and the critical role journalists play in today's fast-paced media environment. Al Tompkins (center), retired senior faculty at the Poynter Institute, led the group through the rapidly-evolving challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence and disinformation, and reminding the group to build trust with their audiences by "showing your work."
Before departing for home, the group sailed off into another beautiful Tampa Bay sunset.
"Enhancing Professionalism in Journalism"
For this group of Iraqi journalists, broadcasters and documentary producers, World Partnerships welcomed a new professional resource, Ms. Joy Mayer (top right), Director and Founder of Trusting News, which focuses on empowering journalists to demonstrate the credibility of their work and actively earn trust day to day. Her session focused on basic tenets of journalism ethics, including the challenges brought by digital journalism; why transparency is key to demonstrating ethics and credibility; how journalists can fight misinformation; how the public perceives journalism, and how journalists should respond.
The Iraqi journalists also met with Mr. Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty (retired), Poynter Institute; Ms. Yolanda Fernandez, Division Manager, Community Awareness Division, St. Petersburg Police Department, and Ms. Ms. Erica Riggins, Public Information Officer, City of St. Petersburg (middle); Mr. Benjamin Kirby, Principal, BJK Consulting, and former Communications Director for the Mayor of St. Petersburg; Mr. Mohamed Maher (bottom right), Newspaper Correspondent in the U.S. for Egyptian media outlet "ALMASRY ALYOM" (and a WP 2012 alum); and, Mr. Mike Deeson, founder, Deeson Media and retired Senior Investigative Reporter for WTSP TV (CBS).
"Strengthening the U.S.-Japan Alliance Through Base-Hosting Community Leadership Development"
Tampa Bay was the first stop for this Japanese group that included city officials and a journalist covering the topic, and World Partnerships was honored to host the project opening with the Department of State and FHI 360.
Tampa Bay was the ideal place to begin this project, given its longtime role as a host community for MacDill Air Force Base, the home of the 6th Air Refueling Wing of the 18th Air Force, and the headquarters of United States Central Command and United States Special Operations Command. Tampa Bay is also host to one of the United States Coast Guard Service's largest commands, Sector St. Petersburg. The Tampa Bay community surrounding these important military bases is comprised of a growing defense high tech industry, major Veterans Administration hospitals, and hundreds of thousands of military veterans.
Read The Whole Story Here!
July 23-27, 2023
This IVLP group of city planners, architects, and accessibility advocates from Moldova explored numerous aspects of building and managing sustainable cities. Their journey began outside Fort Myers at Babcock Ranch with Ms. Lisa Hall, who spearheaded media and community relations that resulted in the creation of the Babcock Ranch Preserve in Southwest Florida. They toured the neighborhood parks, community gardens, and expansive trails for alternative transportation that provide ways for residents to connect with their neighbors and their environment. Through these sustainability efforts, Babcock Ranch provides residents with a greener way of life, and builds upon the Babcock family’s careful stewardship of the land and surrounding preserve areas.
Back in St. Pete, Assistant Police Chief Mike Kovacsev toured the new St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters, was designed and constructed within Green Globes protocols and certified to 3 out of 4 Green Globes and is a sustainable facility for City operations and management for the life of the buildings. Kovacsev oversaw the sustainability and green design, and construction of the headquarters. St. Petersburg Public Works Administrator Claude Tankersley and Allison Mihalich, City Sustainability & Resilience Officer, held a roundtable discussion on how the city implements its Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (ISAP) with ambitious climate action goals, including a transition to 100% Clean Energy, environmental stewardship, resiliency, accessibility, and racial justice, while growing smart to sustain a thriving economy and quality of life for the residents of St. Pete. Then on to the St. Pete Innovation District, the professional home to thousands of scientists, doctors, educators and entrepreneurs working together to make life better. Executive Director Alison Barlow explained the origins of the district, and took the group on a tour of its high tech, medical, and scientific facilities.
The University of South Florida's internationally-recognized Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) hosted a roundtable discussion focused on The Tampa Bay Smart Cities Alliance, and creating and managing large-scale public-private partnerships for the use of technology in regional planning. The roundtable was led by Mr. Philip L. Winters, Director, TDM Program, Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida, and included presentations by Dr. Sisinnio Concas, Program Director, Autonomous-Connected Mobility Evaluation (ACME), Autonomous-Connected Mobility Evaluation (ACME) and Ms. Sara Hendricks, Senior Research Associate, Transportation Demand Management.
"International Parental Child Abduction"
This distinguished IVLP group featured judges, lawyers, and NGO child advocates, and their Tampa Bay program featured law enforcement, the Federal Judiciary, and lawyers specialized in the field of international parental child abduction. Participants exchanged ideas, case studies and best practices with: Mr. Robert D. Eckard, Esq., The Law Office of Robert Eckard & Associates; The Honorable Mary S. Scriven, United States District Judge, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida; Chief of Police Anthony Holloway, Chief of Police, St. Petersburg Police Department; Major David Gerardo, Commander, Major Crimes Division, SPPD; ;Det. Henry Snowden, and Det. Nicole Johnson, Special Victims Unit, SPPD; and Mr. Bjorn Brunvand, Partner, Brunvand Wise P.A. Special thanks to Mr. Brunvand for hosting the group for dinner and further discussions in Ybor City.
July 29-August 2
"21st Century Changemakers:
Countering Disinformation Among Older Adults"
A Sub-Regional Project for Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia
Ms. Emily Mann, Associate Librarian at the USFSP Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, introduced the concept of "information literacy" to this group that included journalists, librarians, educators, government communications specialists, and NGO leaders. A new concept to add to what they had heard about misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, information disorder, deceptive content, and outright deception and lies! Thanks to the other great interlocutors who brought their expertise to each of their intense, in-depth discussions: Al Tompkins, Dr. Casey Frechette, Mohamed Maher, and Mike Deeson.