Helios Education Foundation President Paul Luna to Keynote 12th Annual Education in Action Luncheon

Posted on: November 18, 2008

TAMPA, Fla. – Leaders from the Tampa Bay community will convene at the 12th Annual Education in Action Luncheon on November 18 in support of community partnerships and to highlight the community’s accomplishments in education.

Helios Education Foundation President and CEO Paul Luna will provide the keynote address at the event which will showcase partnerships between the University of South Florida’s (USF) College of Education, K-12 schools and other community groups. Stacie Schaible, anchor and consumer reporter from WFLA NewsChannel 8, is the luncheon emcee. The event is scheduled at the Florida State Fairgrounds for Noon on the 18th, and ticket information is available through USF’s College of Education at 813-974-7992.

“We are preparing educators and educational leaders who are truly making an impact on K-12 education. The research and community involvement projects of our top-notch faculty are having a measurable effect, including: the Florida Problem-Solving/Response to Intervention Statewide Project, Florida PROMiSE, and Project ELECT. These visionary initiatives are impacting tens of thousands of educators and students across the State,” said Colleen S. Kennedy, Ph.D., Dean of the USF College of Education.

“Additionally, we are making sure educators world-wide have access to high-quality digital content through USF on iTunes U and other cutting edge technological vehicles. We are also continuing to increase the numbers of first generation students in the USF College of Education.” Kennedy added, “This is very near and dear to us.”

Helios Education Foundation is a USF partner and provided $2 million toward the university’s Latino Scholars program, scholarship programs for students from underrepresented populations and toward scholarships for students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas.

“Helios Education Foundation is a committed partner of the University of South Florida (USF), and we support its efforts to bring the community together around critical issues in education,” said Foundation President and CEO Paul Luna. “Building long-term, sustainable partnerships is an integral part of any successful education initiative. USF’s College of Education exemplifies this approach by involving numerous community stakeholders in programs that have a direct impact in the Tampa Bay area and beyond. I look forward to sharing some of these key concepts and discussing our recent philanthropic efforts in Tampa Bay.”

Paul J. Luna was named president of Helios Education Foundation in October 2006 and was recently promoted to president and chief executive officer in January 2008. He brings more than 22 years of public and private professional experience to his leadership role with the Foundation. As president, Mr. Luna is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of the growing organization, cultivating strong community relationships and initiating strategic partnerships in Arizona and Florida for the Foundation.

About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is the largest philanthropic organization in Arizona and Florida focused solely on education.  The Foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals by creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education, and since its inception in 2004, has invested more than $51 million into education-related programs and initiatives in both states.  The Foundation's community investments are made across three impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years (grades 5-12) and Postsecondary Scholarships.

About the University of South Florida's College of Education

The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

The USF College of Education is ranked 45th by U.S. News & World Report of graduate schools in the country, is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and is fully approved by the Florida Department of Education. The USF College of Education is the seventh largest public college of education in the nation. For more information on the USF College of Education, visit: or

Category: College and Career Readiness, Postsecondary Completion

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