Bulls Notebook: USFSM students to help at animal sanctuary

USFSMSARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 16, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee students have packed boxes at a food bank and helped clean a day shelter for disadvantaged families. On Saturday, they’ll focus their efforts on an entirely different charity, one that helps animals.

The group of about 30 students is set to lend a hand for five hours at Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary in Wimauma, an effort that’s part of their monthly “Service Saturday” commitment. As they have during the third Saturdays of August and September, the students will board a pair of vans at about 9 a.m. for a day in which they give back to the community.

“Our students will be helping to complete various projects at the sanctuary as they work towards increasing their capacity,” Kati Hinds, coordinator of student organizations and leadership, said. “Projects might include landscaping, enclosure repairs, construction and food preparation.”

Hinds said the group heard about the southern Hillsborough County-based sanctuary from a student who once helped out there. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the non-profit tends to exotic and wild animals, including tigers, a bear, a lion, a cougar, several young wolves and rescue animals.

About a month ago, after the students expressed interest in helping animals, Hinds reached out to the sanctuary to learn more and possibly set up an appointment.

“They were very excited and immediately invited me out to visit and discuss our partnership,” she said.

The students are expected to work from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tickets for beer and food pairing event now on sale

Last semester’s beer and food pairing attracted about 85 people. This year’s event looks to be larger with up to 150 guests, which is why USF Sarasota-Manatee is moving the function from the Culinary Innovation Lab (CIL) in Lakewood Ranch to the main campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Throughout the semester, students under the tutelage of Instructor Joe Askren of the College of Hospitality and Tourism Leadership and Dr. Ken Caswell of the College of Arts & Sciences have been learning about the science and the art of beer making.

In late October and early November, they’ll divide into seven groups to partner with local brew masters to put their knowledge to the test. “After listening to lectures and working in the classroom and touring local breweries, our students will soon start to put that knowledge to work to create their own beers,” Askren said.

The results of those efforts, the culmination of a semester’s worth of studies, will then be paired with a selection of prepared foods in an event dubbed “The Fall Semester Beer & Food Tasting Finale.”

On the food side of the equation, Chef Garry Colpitts, culinary service manager at the CIL, will help his students develop a menu of savory and even sweet dishes based on recommendations from Askren’s students, who will create beer batches of five gallons each.

The public will then get to sample both the food and the beer. Tickets are on sale for the food-beer pairing.

To purchase tickets or learn more, please visit www.usfsm.edu/beerscience.

Anticipation, excitement building as Brunch on the Bay approaches

With about 95 tables sold and 105 sponsors signed up, this year’s Brunch on the Bay looks to be gaining momentum.

Only four tables remain unsold ahead of the Nov. 1 affair, one of the premier events on the Sarasota social calendar, and those tables likely will sell out long before the first Mimosa is poured.

Look for 20 food and beverage vendors at this year’s 22nd annual Brunch.

Brunch on the Bay is USF Sarasota-Manatee’s primary fundraiser for scholarships.

Funds raised benefit USFSM students, including from Sarasota and Manatee counties. Some funds will also be earmarked for “First Generation Scholarships” – those specifically designed to help students who are the first in their families to attend college. The state has agreed to match any donation to that “first generation” fund.

Special kudos to this year’s event co-chairs: Dr. Anila Jain & Tracy O’Neill, both USF alums.