USF Sarasota-Manatee Holds 60th Commencement Ceremony


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s fall commencement exercises will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 15th at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.

Of the 197 USF Sarasota-Manatee seniors who have applied to graduate at the fall 2013 commencement, 109 are expected to attend the ceremony. This number includes nine master’s degree candidates and 100 undergraduates from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, and Hospitality & Tourism Leadership.

Regional Chancellor Arthur M. Guilford will represent USF Sarasota-Manatee, and USF System President Judy Genshaft will preside. Bonnie Jones, regional vice-chancellor of academic and student affairs will be the ceremony announcer and Katerina Annaraud, faculty senate president, will bear the mace of the University.  Sarah Bradtmueller, freshman from the USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Education will perform the National Anthem and USF Alma Mater.

Special award recipients at the ceremony include:

Golden Bull Service and Outstanding Leadership Award: Miriam Fleck, USFSM College of Education, Elementary Education. The Golden Bull Award is sponsored by the USFSM Student Government Association and is presented to a student who has demonstrated excellence in leadership activities, community and university involvement and academic success. Fleck came to USFSM after receiving her Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences from State College of Florida. She plans to graduate with a 3.72 GPA and has interned at Ashton Elementary School, Emma E. Booker Elementary School and Philippi Shores. In her time at USFSM, Fleck was active in Bulls Mentoring Bulls; I.G.N.I.T.E. (Innovators Guiding New Ideas Through Education); Educator’s Alliance and P.R.I.D.E. (Promoting, Recruiting, and Increasing Diverse Educators). Fleck was also named a David Watts Scholar in October 2013, during the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators Conference (SRATE). In addition to her club involvement, Fleck was named Homecoming Countess for the fall 2013 semester, participated in P.A.L.S. (Partners in Education) as an elementary student mentor and was an artist in the 2011 Sarasota Chalk Festival.

Outstanding Graduate Award: J.D. Lotz, College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology. This award is presented by the USF Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the USF Alumni Association to recognize the graduating senior who embodies leadership, school spirit, community service, character and scholarship. J.D., who will graduate with an overall GPA of 3.83, came to USFSM after serving in the Army for four and a half years and receiving an Associate of Arts degree from State College of Florida. In his time at USFSM, J.D. was appointed Student Body vice president in May of 2013. During his time as vice president, Lotz helped overhaul the structure of student government. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school and earn a master’s degree in public administration, with the overall goal of becoming involved in politics in Washington, D.C.

Fall 2013 Outstanding Professors: Dr. Elaine Augustine, College of Arts and Sciences and Dr. Tricia Hunsader, College of Education.  Honorees for the Outstanding Professor Award at USF Sarasota-Manatee share a sincere involvement with their students, passion for the university and its mission and a commitment to excellence through education. Presented by the Student Government Association on behalf of the graduating seniors, the award is the highest campus level honor for USF Sarasota-Manatee faculty members. It recognizes exceptional accomplishments, leadership and service to the campus and community. Dr. Elaine Augustine is an Instructor of Psychology at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. She received her PhD in developmental psychology from Indiana University and a B.S. in psychology from Southern University, Baton Rouge. Augustine’s research examines object representation and categorization in infancy and early childhood, addressing questions about the origins and nature of object similarity as a basis for object recognition, and in particular, the origins and nature of similarity in shape. She has a passion for teaching and has taught courses in introductory psychology, child and adolescent psychology, language development and research methods.

Dr. Hunsader earned her PhD in curriculum and instruction with specializations in elementary education and mathematics education from the University of South Florida, Tampa, in 2005. She is co-author of “Mathematical Literacy: Helping Students Make Meaning in the Middle Grades”(2008) and has published articles in journals including Reading Teacher, Dimensions in Mathematics, Florida Reading Quarterly, Principal and Education Digest. Her research interests focus on the link between reading and mathematical problem solving as well as the influence of mathematics curriculum on student achievement. She has presented hands-on mathematics teacher workshops in the United States and Guatemala. Her classroom experience includes teaching high school mathematics as well as 5th grade.