USFSM Will Hold 62nd Commencement Ceremony Sunday December 14


SARASOTA, Fla. (December 8, 2014) – The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s fall commencement exercises will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 14 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, One Haben Blvd., Palmetto, Fla., 34221. Map here.

Of the 203 USF Sarasota-Manatee seniors who have applied to graduate at the fall 2014 commencement, 130 are expected to attend the ceremony. This number includes 20 Master’s degree candidates and 183 Bachelor’s degree candidates from four colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business, Education and Hospitality & Tourism Leadership.

Regional Chancellor Sandra S. Stone will represent USF Sarasota-Manatee, and USF System President Judy Genshaft will preside. Bonnie Jones, assistant vice president for institutional research and effectiveness will be the ceremony announcer and James Curran, faculty senate president, will bear the mace of the University.  Sarah Bradtmueller, a student in 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: Mariana Barboza, College of Arts & Sciences, Criminology: 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. Mariana Barboza is known to be a diligent and exceptional student, who worked in the Admissions Office during the 2014 spring and summer terms and is currently an Orientation leader. She also tutored a visually impaired student in Spanish, and teaches basic computer and beginner Spanish classes as a volunteer at Palmetto Branch Library. Mariana also served as president of the Criminology Club, where she helped organize numerous activities and events, including the Criminal Justice Career Expo with representatives from social service and criminal justice agencies. Mariana enjoys giving back to her community and making a positive impact. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration at USFSM.

Outstanding Graduate Award: Stephanie Boynton, College of Education, Elementary Education. This award ispresented by the USF Alumni Association to recognize the graduating senior who embodies leadership, school spirit, community service, character and scholarship. This fall, Stephanie Boynton, 42, who has an overall GPA of 3.69 and a major GPA of 3.92, is honored for being an exceptional student both in and out of the classroom.

Stephanie was nominated by Lora Kosten and Jessica Szempruch, both of the USFSM Instructional Site in North Port, where she completed most of her B.S. degree. Kosten praises Stephanie for her strong work ethic, drive for excellence and important leadership qualities. “It is my belief that throughout her career, Mrs. Boynton will serve as a positive role model to others and she will strive to make the world a better place,” says Kosten.

When Stephanie began her studies at USFSM in January 2013, she was already working full-time in the insurance industry and continued to do so while raising three sons and volunteering. A non-traditional student who started at State College of Florida at the age of 38, Stephanie has successfully juggled internships at elementary schools, serving as treasurer and then president of the SMILE (Sarasota Manatee Inspiring Lifelong Educators) Club, completing community service with Junior Achievement, Back Pack Angels and local schools, and being a board member of the North Port High School Athletic Booster Club and vice president of the Theatre Guild, among other commitments. To maintain her high level of community and campus activity, Stephanie scheduled her classes on her free nights and started her days at 4 a.m. so she could study before going off to a full day of work. “I have showed my children that you can be part of making a difference in the community while attending college, working full-time and being active in campus activities, because it is important to give back to those that need it the most,” Stephanie says. She hopes to find a teaching position in the Sarasota School District and pursue a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

Fall 2014 Outstanding Professor: Fawn Ngo, Assistant Professor, College of Arts & Sciences

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. The fall 2014 Outstanding Professor is Fawn T. Ngo, assistant professor of Criminology. Dr. Ngo received her PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland. Prior to her arrival at USFSM, Ngo was the associate academic director for the Master Criminal Justice Distance Learning Program at the University of Cincinnati, and research associate at the Westminster Police Department in Orange County, Ca. Her areas of interest include criminological theory, interpersonal violence, actuarial risk assessment and evaluative research.

Dr. Ngo is known as a passionate professor who goes above and beyond to be accessible and helpful to her students. She demonstrates the USFSM-held value that teaching and scholarship must be interconnected, and encourages her students in their research endeavors through generous mentoring and advising. “I was fortunate enough to have many inspirational and outstanding teachers in my undergraduate and graduate programs, and I consider it my duty and privilege to follow in their footsteps and become a good teacher,” Ngo says. “I share this award with my students who keep me passionate and excited about teaching and remind me every day that learning is about wonder as well as understanding.”