Alysia Cruz

Alysia Cruz is the WUSF Stephen Noble news intern for the fall 2019 semester. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of South Florida in Communication and is now enrolled at USF St. Petersburg, pursuing her Master’s in Digital Journalism & Design concentrating on food writing.

In the years since graduating from USF, Alysia has worked as a theatre and journalism teacher, running The Minotaur yearbook program and starting The Minotaur online newspaper at Bloomingdale High School in Valrico, FL. She also spent time working in TV production as a production coordinator and live theater as a stage manager.

Alysia hopes to become a food and travel journalist in the future, expanding reporting on these subjects within public media.

Tampa General Hospital and the University of South Florida have created a new organization with goals of integrating patient care, education, and research.

The Hillsborough County School Board continued to show how divided they are about returning to in-person instruction during the coronavirus pandemic.

The comments came after Superintendent Addison Davis presented a plan on Thursday that includes three options for families: face-to-face instruction, e-learning through each school, or the district’s own virtual school.

Vice President Mike Pence was in Tampa Thursday for a meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, where the pair discussed the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases continued to skyrocket.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday the state will be moving forward carefully and encouraged Floridians to continue following social distancing guidelines while coronavirus cases spike.

As Hillsborough County students prepare for school in August, the district is working on what that return will look like.

During a school board workshop on Tuesday, Superintendent Addison Davis presented three models for reopening, each linked to different levels of spread of the disease.

Though a state dashboard shows some hospitals are nearing capacity, Gov. Ron DeSantis and health care executives from around Florida said Friday there are more than enough hospital beds to deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases.

According to an updated model by PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Florida has the potential to be the next epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

The projections point to the rising number of cases in Hillsborough County and surrounding areas over the past few weeks.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is continuing to ease restrictions related to the coronavirus, despite the state seeing record increases in new cases of COVID-19.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman responded with an order on Wednesday requiring workers inside city limits to wear a mask starting Friday at 5 p.m.

On the first anniversary of the death of Hezekiah Walters, Hillsborough County Public Schools announced new training protocols and safety procedures aimed at preventing heat-related illnesses.

Walters, 14, collapsed and died June 11, 2019, after participating in summer football conditioning at Middleton High School.

The second phase of Florida’s plan to reopen the economy following coronavirus stay-at-home orders has begun. It comes about 24 hours after the state recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in Florida.

According to Feeding Tampa Bay, over 700,000 people in the region are food insecure, which means they don’t have access to affordable, nutritious food.

Some believe that food sovereignty is the answer.

Minority girls and those in the LGBTQ community are facing increased rates of violence and victimization, but organizations in Florida meant to serve children are failing to address these issues.

That’s according to research from the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, a research and advocacy group for girls all over the world.

As part of efforts to combat illegal immigration, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Department of Corrections are preparing to deputize state correctional officers as federal immigration enforcement agents.

From medical professionals to law enforcement to recovering addicts, the opioid crisis has affected people from all walks of life.

At a University of South Florida symposium Wednesday, experts said it will take them all working together to end the opioid crisis.

Public health officials confirmed the 18th case of dengue fever in Hillsborough County this year.

But this case is different- while the first 17 were travelers who got sick when they returned from a trip, this one contracted the fever from a mosquito locally.

Five months after the fatal stabbing of a bus driver by a passenger, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) has begun installing safety shields in its 180 buses and 12 HARTflex vans. They are scheduled to complete the project in the next few weeks.

In the weeks since Hurricane Dorian, cities in the Bahamas are now housing thousands of people displaced by the devastation.

This past weekend, four USF Health doctors traveled to Nassau to offer medical help to the evacuees.

A local legislator is taking steps to combat what she calls "an alarming and urgent healthcare crisis” – especially among young people.

Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, said she is introducing legislation to raise the legal age to purchase vaping and tobacco products to 21.

Community coalitions and government programs that help parents improve their well-being are seeing those improvements passed on to children.

That’s according to the 2019 Florida Child Well-Being Index, which was released Wednesday by Florida Kids Count.