On Friday, April 14, Saint Leo University and Moffitt Cancer Center will celebrate a vision for the future. As Moffitt plans to begin construction of Phase 1 of its massive Speros FL medical research park in Pasco County, it is partnering with the Pasco-based university to create job, internship, and educational opportunities not only for Saint Leo students, but also for surrounding community members. Both institutions are committed to developing and supporting people as a whole in body, mind, and spirit, so collaborating seemed ideal.

The public is invited to join Saint Leo students and alumni for the Moffitt and Saint Leo University Community Expo, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the university, 33701 County Road 52 (formerly State Road 52), St. Leo, FL 33574. Parking is available in the university’s parking garage, located on the east side of campus. Register to attend Moffitt.org/SaintLeoCommunityExpo.

“Saint Leo University is thrilled to announce that we are partnering with Moffitt Cancer Center,” said Dr. Ed Dadez, university president. “This collaboration will bring career and educational opportunities not only for our students and graduates, but also for the surrounding communities. We are uniting two institutions that share similar core values and goals.”

Saint Leo is committed to developing a collaboration to support Moffitt’s needs and the future needs of Pasco County, Dadez said. “Mother Teresa said, ‘I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.’ I know that together, Saint Leo University and Moffitt Cancer Center, can do great things and build a great future for Pasco County and the surrounding Tampa Bay area.”

Events include a welcome by Dadez, remarks from Moffitt representatives, and a kickoff celebration, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. in the Greenfelder-Denlinger Boardrooms of the Student Community Center.

The focus will be on careers and education for most of the day, with a Resume on the Run resume review with Saint Leo’s Career Services Department starting the day from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Community Center (SCC) lobby and loggia. A career fair immediately follows, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the same location at the SCC. This career fair will feature HR representatives from Moffitt and Saint Leo as well as Admissions and Center for Alternative Pathway Programs representatives to discuss education and professional development opportunities.

Some of the sessions offered include:

Exciting Opportunities at Moffitt and How Saint Leo Can Help You Get There, which will feature Dr. Kathleen VanEerden, dean of the College of Health Professions, and Moffitt representatives. This session will take place 11 - 11:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. - 12:35 p.m. in TECO Hall in the Tapia College of Business Building.

Pasco Community Partnership Opportunities will take place 11 - 11:30 a.m., in the Student Activities Building (SAB), Room 117 A-B.               

Research Showcase, featuring innovative research presentations from Dr. Sergiv Borvsov and Moffit Cancer Center, 11:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. in the Student Activities Building (SAB), Room 117 A-B.              

A networking luncheon featuring experts and representatives from Moffitt and Saint Leo at every table will take place 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in the boardrooms.

The university’s newest building, the Wellness Center, will host a series of activities from 10: 30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., devoted to healthy bodies and minds. These will include writing for wellness, a gentle stretch class, a gratitude class, pickleball tips, and a mindfulness seminar.

The Moffitt and Saint Leo University Community Expo will close with remarks in the boardrooms from Dr. Kelley Gonzalvo, vice president of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer of Moffitt Cancer Center, and Dadez, the Saint Leo president.

Offering Hope

Moffitt Cancer Center and Saint Leo University are moving forward — Moffitt with its 775-acre Global Innovation Center and Saint Leo in training the workforce of the future. And both institutions offer hope and accessibility.

Speros FL is an apt name for Moffitt’s development as speros is derived the Latin verb sperare, meaning “to hope.”  The Global Innovation Center under construction in Pasco County and will boast 140 buildings that will feature clinics, research, housing, and more. Approximately 500 of the 775 acres will be developed, leaving 35 percent of the land for environmental conservation, according to Moffitt. The new campus is scheduled to see its first patients in 2025. 


The location off Ridge Road in Land O’ Lakes near the Suncoast Parkway will be convenient to Tampa Bay area commuters and visitors alike, said Dr. Patrick Hwu, Moffitt’s president and CEO.

“Pasco County is changing dramatically, especially with Moffitt’s tremendous investment in the area,” said Dr. Mark Gesner, Saint Leo University vice president of Community Engagement & Communications. “It’s essential for major institutions like Saint Leo and Moffitt to build holistic relationships that support smart and substantive social and economic impact. Saint Leo will continue innovating to serve as a vital resource in meeting the talent, education, and training needs of our local community and beyond.”

Careers and More

While many people might think of the medical profession when they think of Moffitt Cancer Center, the renowned center and its new development in Pasco County offers many more job opportunities.

When the Speros FL project is completed, Moffitt anticipates its members will number 14,000. By the end of 2027, Moffitt projects it will have 2,400 employees on the Pasco County campus.

Not only are scientists, researchers, nurses, and other medical professionals needed, but there also will be jobs in cybersecurity, business operations, social work, information technology, and more.

“We are excited about working with Saint Leo University to enhance talent pipelines in the Pasco/Hernando area,” said Liza Bryant, director of Talent Acquisition at Moffitt Cancer Center. “We look forward to meeting students, alumni, and members from the surrounding community to share our great hiring opportunities, and why Moffitt continues to be a Top Places to Work 11 years in a row.”

For Moffitt’s president and CEO, the institution is more than a job. “Moffitt Cancer Center is an incredible workplace, but is much more than a career,” Hwu said. “Each one of our more than 8,000 team members contributes to our meaningful and lifesaving mission to prevent and cure cancer. We are thrilled to partner with Saint Leo University and look forward to growing our team from the talented community of students graduating right here in the Sunshine State.”

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, offering more than 100 undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs and specializations to more than 15,300 students each year. Founded in 1889 in the Benedictine tradition, the private, nonprofit university is known for providing an education to learners of all backgrounds and ages. Saint Leo is regionally accredited and offers a residential campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, 14 education centers in five states, and an online program for students anywhere. The university is home to more than 103,000 alumni. Learn more at saintleo.edu.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 53 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 7,800 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.4 billion. For more