SARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2017) – The USF System, Alumni Association and USF Sarasota-Manatee honored Dr. Anila Jain last week.
The longtime USF and USF Sarasota-Manatee supporter was formally recognized by USF System President Dr. Judy Genshaft, USF Foundation CEO Joel Momberg, USFSM Interim Regional Chancellor Dr. Terry Osborn and other dignitaries during a ceremony Wednesday at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s rotunda.
“When you give back to a university it makes such a difference, and that’s what Anila has done over and over again,” said Dr. Genshaft, who presented a Tiffany bowl to Dr. Jain.
A physician and medical consultant with an MBA, Dr. Jain earned a bachelor’s of science degree from USF in 1981. She’s been an ardent and consistent supporter of USF, the USF System and the Alumni Association ever since.
She has served as president of the USF Alumni Association National Board of Directors and was a Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. She helped launch and served as president of the Alumni Association’s USFSM chapter and was a founding member of USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy. Additionally, she helped launch the committee for Brunch on the Bay, USFSM’s chief fundraising event.
Recently, Dr. Jain distinguished herself by making a major legacy contribution to underwrite several academic and athletic initiatives, from scholarships that help USFSM students to programs that encourage women’s leadership and the support of a NCAA women’s rowing team at USFSM.
Addressing the crowd, Dr. Jain credited others, notably her parents and grandfather, who instilled in her values related to hard work, service and compassion.
“My parents taught me that unless I believed in myself, I would not be capable of believing that I could make a difference in the lives of others,” she said. “Family values and the close-knit bonds with special friends were the strength that we shared, as well as life’s experiences and relationships.”
A frequent attendee of university functions and often the first to respond when calls for volunteers are made, Dr. Jain was born in India to Dr. Mona and Kailash Jain. She moved with her parents to the Manatee-Sarasota area as a young child and she still calls the area home after more than 50 years.
Currently, she serves on the USFSM Campus Board and USF Foundation. She was past chair of USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy and served on the Bulls Club Board of Directors, supporting USF Athletics.
“I hope my legacy gifts will make a positive impact on students and faculty for generations to come throughout the USF System and especially for USF Sarasota-Manatee, my hometown campus,” she said.
USFSM students make ‘county connections
USFSM students and recent graduates visited Manatee County offices this past Friday to take tours, learn about government departments and engage in “speed networking.”
Students were given an overview of different departments and tours of Manatee offices. The morning wrapped up with a “speed networking” session where the students engaged in quick one-on-one interviews with department supervisors.
“This is a great way for our students to get out into the community and learn about the different job and internship opportunities across Manatee County government and really to see that, regardless of their major, there are opportunities within all the different departments,” said Lauren Kurnov, assistant vice president for student success at USFSM.
The program started two years ago as a way to connect business students with alumni, but it eventually grew to include students from other disciplines, including information technology, criminology, psychology and interdisciplinary social sciences. In 2016, Sarasota County came on board with Manatee and the resulting program was named “County Career Connections.”
The 17 students and graduates who gathered at Manatee on Friday represented the largest group yet. Among those was marketing student Katelyn Barbosa, who graduates this spring.
Barbosa said she wasn’t sure what to expect from the four-hour visit, thinking that most county-level jobs are clerical, but she was surprised at how much interaction occurs between departments and with the public.
As the morning progressed, she grew confident that her marketing degree would make for a good fit. That feeling was reinforced during a networking session with the economic development division manager.
“She asked for my resume,” she said. “It made feel really good about my degree. It felt like I had accomplished a lot in a few minutes.”
Barbosa says plans to follow up and has her “fingers crossed” about a possible internship or job offer.
“I like to work with people and I would love to have a job where I’m able to use my degree,” she said.
USFSM researcher, students attend science festival
The group, which also included Laboratory Instructional Support Specialist Victoria Ramirez, hosted an informational booth focused on the problems of microplastics, those tiny shards of plastic that can become ingested by fish, birds and other marine life.
The booth included brochures and flyers about microplastics, which sometimes start life as large pieces that break down into smaller ones. Ramirez said this was the first time USFSM has participated in the science festival. More than 100 groups and thousands of spectators were expected. Last year’s festival saw 25,000 attendees.
“We want to show citizen scientists and fishermen what they can do when they catch a fish and what to look for,” said Ramirez, who was expecting to arrive early to set up the table, tent and USFSM banner.
She was helped by Dr. Bouchard, Hull, several USFSM students and Palmetto High teacher Natalie Richard, who studied microplastics as part of her master’s thesis. Hull and Dr. Bouchard have researched the issue as well.
Microplastics can range from pea-sized shards to tiny beads, including those commonly found in liquid soaps and other toiletries. In fish, the particles can become lodged inside the intestinal tract.
“We’re very excited to be there,” Richard said. “Not only does this outreach inform people about the problems of plastic ingestion, but it has the chance to affect human behavior.
“Being that we live near the ocean, there’s a good chance that these microplastics can end up there” she said. “And if we can help one person understand the problems of mismanaging their garbage, then we’ve been successful.”