The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee celebrated Worldwide Engagement (WE) Week from February 21-25. The event highlighted the university’s engagement with international partners to broaden students’ perspectives and advance faculty research.
Events throughout the week included yoga, free salsa lessons, information about study abroad opportunities, international food and clothes, and a collection for schools in Ghana, Cambodia, and Honduras. Student and faculty-run groups collected almost $1,200 and a large amount of school supplies to send to the international groups.
As part of the week of events, USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Institute for Public Policy and Leadership (IPPL) presented a lively panel discussion on immigration legislation. Former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota and an Associate Professor of Political Science at New College of Florida, moderated a panel discussion regarding the implications of pending immigration legislation and the consequences on Florida agriculture, business, law enforcement, and the state’s economy. Panel members included Casey Welch, Director of Congressional Affairs for Florida Citrus Mutual in Lakeland; C.J. Czaia, Founding Board Member of UnidosNow!; Kelly Kirschner, Mayor of the City of Sarasota; and Darren Wilburn, Private Investigator.
To round out the week, Hiu Zhi Song, survivor of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and author of “Crossing the Wall,” presented her experiences growing up in communist China.
“This has been such a rewarding experience, bringing together faculty, clubs and student organizations to present information about social justice worldwide,” said Dr. Lynn McBrien, assistant professor in the College of Education and organizer of the event. “As a global university, our goal is to make a difference in the world, as well as the communities where we live. This event helped to bring awareness to students, faculty, and the community.”