USF Sarasota-Manatee Holds 58th Commencement Ceremony

SARASOTA (December 7, 2012) – The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s fall commencement exercises will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 16, 2012, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.

The ceremony will recognize 14 master’s degree candidates from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education as well as 13 MBA students. 226 undergraduate students will receive their degrees from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Hospitality & Tourism Leadership. Of these 240 graduates, approximately 150 are expected to attend the ceremony.

Regional Chancellor Arthur M. Guilford will represent USF Sarasota-Manatee, and USF System President Judy Genshaft will preside. Dr. Stephen Graves, Professor of Elementary Education, will be the ceremony announcer; Dr. Jody McBrien will bear the University mace; and Sarah Coit, student in the USF College of the Arts, will perform the National Anthem and USF Alma Mater.

Five students and one professor will be recognized at the ceremony.

Alexander Klotz is this year’s recipient of the Webecke Award, an honor given to the most outstanding student in the Master of Business Administration program. Alexander is graduating summa cum laude with a GPA of 3.93. He successfully balanced academic rigors with the social environment of higher education, serving as a leader among MBA students. Alexander is currently working as an Iberiabank asset manager and envisions moving overseas to pursue a career in business management.

Olivia Santiago, a senior graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, is this year’s recipient of the Golden Bull Service and Outstanding Leadership Award presented by USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Student Government Association. Olivia is among the most involved students on campus, having served as part of Student Government, Phi Beta Lambda and Circle K International. She plans to incorporate both her academic and leadership skills into a career with a small accounting firm.

Marina Cosgrove, a senior graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Award presented by the USF Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the USF Alumni Association. Marina moved to the United States in 2000 from war-destroyed Yugoslavia and overcame a language barrier to become heavily involved with university life and philanthropic activities. While studying at USF Sarasota-Manatee, Marina served as a Phi Beta Lambda officer and member of the Accounting Society, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Theta Kappa. She aspires to earn her master’s degree in accounting and launch a career with a CPA firm.

Cathleen Cornish, Diane Florez and Jessica Souders will receive the USF Alumni Association King O’Neal Scholars award for achieving perfect 4.0 GPAs throughout their undergraduate degrees.

Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Carlson, Accounting Instructor in the College of Business, has been selected by the students as the Fall 2012 Outstanding Professor. Liz grew up in Sarasota and has extensive experience in the field of forensic accounting. In addition to holding a master’s degree in accounting and certification in Financial Forensics, she is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Valuation Analyst. Not only is Liz strongly dedicated to her profession, but she also serves as a member of the American and Florida Institute of CPAs and commits herself to being active in the community.