USFSM students and recent grads board two vans early Friday.

Bulls Notebook: Students tour Sarasota Co. government offices

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: November 04, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. (Nov. 04, 2016) More than a dozen USF Sarasota-Manatee students and recent graduates headed to downtown Sarasota Friday for a tour of the Judicial Center and visits with 12th Judicial Circuit Court Chief Judge Charles Williams, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Capt. Charlie Thorpe and State Attorney Ed Brodsky.

The four-hour “Sarasota County Career Exploration Trip” was organized by Career Services to allow students to consider criminal justice-related careers. Both Brodsky and Thorpe are USF alums.

“This is about networking and making connections,” Career Services Coordinator Toni Ripo said of the 18 students who boarded two vans early Friday.

Bulls Notebook: Students tour Sarasota Co. government offices

Ashley Wichern and Marissa Fleenor await a tour of Sarasota County offices Friday.

She urged the students – representing interdisciplinary social sciences, information technology, criminology, business and professional & technical communication – to inquire about the application process and internships and leave with business cards.

In addition to touring the Judicial Center, the students were expected to visit Sarasota County’s historic Courthouse and Clerk’s Office.

Marissa Fleenor signed up after hearing about the tour from fellow criminology student Ashley Wichern.

“I want to keep a very, very open mind to career options,” said Fleenor, who anticipates graduating next May.

In addition to exploring career options in criminal justice, she’s considering law school or another graduate program. Wichern said she’s entertaining some of the same ideas.

“I’m not sure what I want to do and thought that I should start looking and that this (tour) was a good idea,” she said. “I want to see what kinds of jobs are available.”

Tours of county facilities have become regular occurrences at USFSM, which enjoys strong ties with Manatee and Sarasota county governments. Several students visited Sarasota’s administrative offices in July and Manatee County’s offices in June.

Visit for more about USFSM’s Career Services Office.

No tickets left for dining experience

Bulls Notebook: Students tour Sarasota Co. government offices

The Bulls Bistro, which debuted Sept. 8, is sold out for Nov. 17.

The next Bulls Bistro is sold out.

The popular dining event at the Culinary Innovation Lab on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch is sold out for Thursday, Nov. 17, but will resume during the spring semester.

The event, which costs $20, typically includes a tasting of three hors d’oeuvres and two glasses of wine or specialty beer. Food is prepared by chefs and students from the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership (CHTL).

CHTL Dean Dr. Pat Moreo devised the Bulls Bistro to engage the local community and create a learning experience for hospitality students. For more, visit

Captivating film chronicles post-World War II moments of freedom

USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone called the documentary “Every Face Has a Name” “moving” and “emotional” after a screening and interview with its Swedish director, Magnus Gertten.

The film, screened Tuesday at Selby Auditorium, captures moments of freedom for hundreds of World War II refugees newly arrived at a check-in station in the Swedish port city of Malmö, Gertten’s hometown.

Grainy black and white 35 mm footage documents poignant expressions as the weary refugees – Jews from concentration camps, Norwegian prisoners of war, members of the French resistance, British spies, even an American girl, who with her Italian-American father, was inadvertently caught up in the chaos – exit a ship and cycle through the station, undergoing interviews and medical checkups and taking hot showers.

Bulls Notebook: Students tour Sarasota Co. government offices

Viewers were moved by the film “Every Face Has a Name,” screened at Selby Auditorium on Tuesday.

Interspersed throughout are present-day conversations with many of the refugees who movingly recall their moments of freedom, at once joyous and sorrowful.

“They experienced so much: joy, apprehension, fear of the future and sadness,” said Dr. Stone, who viewed the film with about a dozen audience members. “I don’t think we can really understand what this experience was like. They survived so much and they were free, yet they lost so much.”

“I’m just overwhelmed,” said Nancy Shapiro of Sarasota. “It was just heartbreaking to see.”

After the showing, Gertten talked about his eight-year effort to create the film after learning of the archival footage. Most of that time was spent locating and interviewing the survivors.

Also attending the talk was Elsie Ragusin Azzinaro, 95, now an Orlando resident. The only Italian-American to survive Auschwitz, Ragusin and her father were staying with Italian relatives in 1941 when they were rounded up by Germans and accused of espionage.

They alleged she used a lighter to signal to planes. “I never smoked in my life. It was ridiculous,” Ragusin told the crowd at Selby.

The 76-minute film opened to positive reviews and last year won the Church of Sweden prize at the Gothenburg film festival. Gertten was visiting Florida to attend various screenings.

‘Angel tree’ goes up in rotunda

Bulls Notebook: Students tour Sarasota Co. government offices

Finance major Sydney Hellrung hangs an ornament on the Angel Tree in the rotunda.

The first image of the holiday season made its appearance in the rotunda this week: Students on Tuesday set up a Christmas tree or ‘Angel Tree’ to be decorated with gift tags from children from Booker Elementary School in Sarasota. Students, staff and faculty are urged to take a tag and purchase a corresponding toy.

Unwrapped items may be brought to Suite A-117 in the Student Commons area. The tree will stay up through mid-December.

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