USF Sarasota-Manatee fall Commencement to be held at Van Wezel this Sunday

On Sunday, December 11th  the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) will hold its 56th Commencement Convocation for the Fall 2011 graduating class at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in downtown Sarasota.  Beginning at 2:00pm, the ceremony will recognize 38 Master’s degree candidates and 230 undergraduate students.  Dr. Arthur M. Guilford, Regional Chancellor, will represent USFSM and USF Board of Trustees Vice Chair Harold W. Mullis will preside.

During the ceremony, several awards will be presented, including: Outstanding Professor, presented by the graduating class to Dr. Patricia Hunsader in the College of Education; Outstanding Graduate, presented by the USF Manatee-Sarasota Chapter of the USF Alumni Association to Krystalle Nichols, who will receive her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education; Golden Bull Service and Outstanding Leadership Award, presented by the graduating class to Andrea Javed, who will receive her Bachelors of Science in Accounting through the College of Business; and the Webeke Award, presented by the graduating MBA cohort to classmate Joseph Ramsey.

Dr. Tricia D. Hunsader is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. She teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate mathematics education. Dr. Hunsader earned her Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Elementary Education and a cognate in Mathematics Education from the University of South Florida, Tampa in 2005.  Dr. Hunsader is co-author of Mathematical Literacy: Helping Students Make Meaning in the Middle Grades (2008) and has published articles in journals including Reading Teacher, Teaching Children Mathematics, Dimensions in Mathematics, Florida Reading Quarterly, Principal, and Education Digest. Her research interests focus on elementary mathematics classroom assessment, the link between reading and mathematical problem solving, and the influence of mathematics curriculum on student achievement. She has conducted Hands-On Mathematics teacher workshops in the United States, Guatemala, and at several schools in Cambodia. She is passionate about her work with the Asia’s Hope orphan organization in Cambodia, and travels there twice annually.  One of Dr. Hunsader’s career goals is to equip her students to be effective teachers of mathematics by developing their conceptual understanding and their love of the subject. She is honored to receive this award as a confirmation that her students have learned to share her enthusiasm for teaching mathematics.

Andrea Javed, an Accounting major in the College of Business, was born in Manila, Philippines.  She came to the United States with her family at the age of 16.  She graduated from Lecanto High School and holds both Associate in Science and Associate in Arts degree in Accounting.  She has lived in Sarasota for 5 years with her husband, Adnan.  While a student at USF Sarasota-Manatee, Andrea was an active member of the Accounting Society for 3 years and has carried various roles with the club, including President.   During her year as president, she facilitated five Accounting Society events with participation from as many as 125 accounting students per event.  While remaining committed to her studies as a USFSM student and remaining involved with the Accounting Society, Andrea has also worked full-time as Accounts Receivable Specialist.  Andrea graduates today with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.

A proud member of Sigma Phi Theta, Krystalle Nichols is graduating today with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education.  During her time as a student at USF Sarasota-Manatee, Krystalle was involved with USFSM2, a club dedicated to teaching math in low-economic schools and PRIDE (promoting, recruiting, increasing diverse educators.)  While remaining active in each of these groups, Krystalle also held internships with Rogers Garden Elementary School and Willis Elementary School and currently holds a position with A Readiness Learning Academy as Lead School Age Teacher.  Krystalle has found the time to volunteer in the midst of her many commitments at Math Nights for two elementary schools, the walk for Juvenile Diabetes, and has been a fundraiser for Myakka State Park and the “Backpack for Kids” program at the Salvation Army.  On top of all of these activities, Krystalle has maintained a near perfect GPA and graduates today Magna Cum Laude.

Born in Chicago, IL, Joe Ramsay, winner of this year’s Webeke Award, grew up in Oakville, CT.  He earned his Bachelors of Science in Bible from Philadelphia Biblical University in Langhorne, PA where he also did some graduate level work in Organizational Leadership.  Joe is currently a Sales Manager and plans to use his MBA to obtain a leadership role.  “The professors challenged me with new material, new ways of viewing a problem, and gave me concrete tools to use in the marketplace,” he said.  “They knew and loved their subject matter deeply and inspired their students to dig-in as well. They teach from their own passion, and that resonates deeply.”