USFSM student Tara Carroll addresses students and Sarasota County employees during an informational tour Wednesday.

Bulls Notebook: USFSM students tour Sarasota County for career day

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: July 15, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. (July 15, 2016) About a dozen USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) students learned about public service careers during an informational tour of Sarasota County government offices this week.

The event, “County Career Connections,” was held Wednesday and followed a similar session three weeks ago in which 15 USFSM students visited Manatee County’s offices and judicial center.

“I thought it was informative in terms of the kind of different departments they have there,” said marketing major Tara Carroll, who will be a senior this fall.

Carroll and the group heard from department heads during the morning, then enjoyed lunch and attended a county commission meeting in the afternoon.

The tour, supported by the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, came amidst strengthening ties between USFSM and Sarasota County. USFSM is committed to working with local employers like Sarasota County to identify meaningful careers for graduates.

Finance major Brian Wilson said he was interested in hearing about internships and possible “job shadowing” to learn more about the kinds of positions available in public service.

“The county does have a lot of opportunities,” he said. “They are really open to having students come by to learn how everything is run.”

The students heard from Rob Lewis, director of community and intergovernmental relations; Steve Botelho, assistant county administrator; Joanie Whitley, director of human resources; Jeff Maultsby, director of business and economic development; Paula Wiggins, transportation planning manager, transportation and real estate; Rachel Herman, manager of environmental planning, planning and development services; Elma Felix, planner, planning and development services; and Alexa Kaumaya, International City Managers Association fellow 2016-17.

Welcome WordPress Campus conference

WPCampus 2016, a national conference of collegiate-based WordPress users, kicked off this week at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

WordPress, a free and open-source content management system, is used on hundreds of campuses nationwide, including at USF Sarasota-Manatee, to manage their websites and blog postings.

WPCampus 2016 represents the inaugural conference of the WPCampus community. About 150 were in attendance for the three-day conference, plus scores of others viewed the live feed.

“It certainly shows there is a market for an event like this,” said Rachel Carden, director of WordPress Campus. “At our core we are a community and this event demonstrates that.”

The conference began Thursday with a “welcome extravaganza” at Office Bar SRQ in downtown Sarasota. That was followed Friday by sessions that ran throughout the day in classrooms and at Selby Auditorium. The conference is set to wrap up Saturday morning with three more sessions.

USFSM professor to serve on conference committee

Kudos to Dr. Fawn Ngo who was chosen to serve on the program committee for the 2017 annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology.

Dr. James P. Lynch, professor and chairman of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the University of Maryland, extended the invitation to Dr. Ngo, citing her research on “testing theoretical explanations of crime and criminal behavior with a focus on general strain theory and social control theory.”

Dr. Ngo will serve as an area chair for the meeting. This represents the second time she’s been asked to serve on the program committee.

“I am pleased, honored and humbled because this means that my research is being recognized at the national level,” she said.

Goodbye to Megan Uberti

She’s worked at USF Sarasota-Manatee and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees here.

Now Megan Uberti, 25, who’s been a familiar face at Career Services since January 2012, is leaving to accept a teaching position at Sarasota Christian School, a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school at 5415 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota.

Her last day here is July 22. She starts at Sarasota Christian a couple of weeks after that with teacher orientation.

“It’s very bittersweet. USFSM will always have a special place in my heart,” said Uberti, who received her master’s degree in English education at USFSM in December 2015.

Uberti started at Career Services as an undergraduate volunteer. She was hired to work part-time there last spring. On leaving, she said she’ll miss the staff, faculty and “the whole college atmosphere.”

At Sarasota Christian, she’ll teach English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. Eventually, she said, she hopes to transition to an English teacher.

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