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Upcoming Master’s Degree Information Sessions

Information Session

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee will hold informational open houses for prospective master’s degree students in January 2014.

Attendees will receive a brief overview of the university, information about specific master’s degree programs, the admissions process, financial aid and other services. There will be complimentary food and beverages in addition to a campus tour. There will also be an opportunity to meet in small groups with the appropriate academic advisors to discuss prerequisites, transcripts and other details pertaining to individual programs of interest, and to meet faculty and graduates.

January 9, 2014                                                         
Master’s in Social Work*                                         
4:00-5:30 p.m.                                                           
Selby Auditorium

January 25, 2014
All Master’s Degrees
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Selby Auditorium

Master’s degree programs include:

  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Education (Human Resource Education or Online Teaching and Learning)
  • Educational Leadership
  • English Education
  • Exceptional Student Education
  • Hospitality Management
  • Social Work
  • Teaching

Note: The Master of Social Work degree program has a February 15, 2014 application deadline. It is a cohort, taught as a group over eight consecutive semesters and hosted at USF Sarasota-Manatee. A fall 2014 cohort start date is contingent upon a minimum number of qualified acceptances; without the minimum number, the start date would be delayed to January 2015. Website: www.usfsm.edu.

Full Slate of Open Houses Scheduled for Fall Semester


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee will host two more open houses for prospective students during the fall 2014 semester.

Open Houses:

October 18, 2014
USFSM Open House at 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. located at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243 in USFSM Rotunda.

November 13, 2014
USFSM Open House at 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. located at 8350 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243 in USFSM Rotunda.

At both open houses, attendees will receive a brief overview of USFSM, academic programs for freshmen, transfers and graduate students, as well as the admissions process, financial aid and other services. All three open houses will also feature instant decision opportunities for freshmen with qualified students receiving on-the-spot acceptance to USFSM.  In order to participate in instant decision, freshmen should apply for admission online at usfsm.edu and bring an officially sealed transcript and copies of their ACT or SAT test scores.  There will be complimentary food and beverages and campus tours. There will also be an opportunity to meet with academic advisors to discuss prerequisites, transcripts and other details pertaining to individual programs of interest. To RSVP for these open houses, please fill out the form below.

View a full list of upcoming Admissions Events


To register for either of the Open Houses, please fill out the form below:

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Meeting Notes – August 18

USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Search Committee
Meeting Notes
August 18, 2014, 12:30pm-1:30pm
USFSM Campus Board Room

Members in attendance: Sophia Wisniewska, Chair, Elaine Augustine, Brittany Decker, Ben
Ellinor, Teri Hansen, Jose Hernandez, Patricia Hunsader, Jean Kabongo, Carol Probstfeld,
Jane Rose, Byron Shinn, James Unnever, G. Patricia Wilson, Wan Yang

Also: Janet O’Shea

Chair Sophia Wisniewska opened the meeting by thanking the Committee for their hard work
and engagement in what she described as a successful and seamless search process. She
explained that the purpose of the meeting was to advance three names, without ranking, to
President Genshaft for further consideration.

The Search members discussed the evaluations and other input they had received, and it
became evident that there were three clear top candidates. They also asked questions about
the next steps and a potential timeline for the return visit, hire, and possible start date.

Wisniewska expressed her intention to meet directly with the President and possibly one to two Search Committee members prior to a final decision.

USFSM Launches Collaborative Arts-Integrated Literacy Program


United Way Suncoast is collaborating with the Sarasota Y and University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM)’s College of Education in launching the Summer Arts-Integration Literacy (SAIL) program. SAIL is part of United Way Suncoast’s Summer Care program, designed to help break the cycle of generational poverty through educational programs that give children the skills to succeed.

SAIL addresses the disparity of elementary schoolchildren from low-income families in Sarasota who need access to the same resources and opportunities as their peers in higher socioeconomic brackets. The program is an extension of the Sarasota Y’s Camp Incredible wherein a select number of camp participants who are reading below grade level have access to a structured reading curriculum and receive one-on-one literacy tutoring (via two 45-minute sessions a week, eight weeks total) from USFSM students. These undergraduate and graduate-level teacher candidates in the College of Education’s Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching have received training at The Ringling’s Education Center on how to pair literacy tutoring with arts education.

 Learn more about the USFSM College of Education

“United Way Suncoast is proud to initiate the SAIL program and work with such high-caliber partners on improving early literacy,” said Katie Knight, Sarasota area president of United Way Suncoast. “Eighty-eight percent of first-grade students reading below grade level will continue to do so in the fourth grade without extra support like SAIL. In bringing together an array of Sarasota community resources driven towards a common goal, we’re able to provide a wonderful program like SAIL as a result.”

SAIL’s purpose is two-fold: One, collaborating with Sarasota Y provides a literacy program focused on preventing summer reading loss by embedding reading lessons and tutoring in the Y’s summer camp. Secondly, the USFSM collaboration develops education students’ skills and expertise in literacy, evaluation of teacher-child interaction, and arts integration.Education students will utilize the arts to teach social studies-themed reading material, encouraging the “reading” of art works to help understand historical and cultural contexts.

 Learn more about Sarasota Y

“Playing a vital role in helping more children in Sarasota read at or above their grade level is important to us,” said Kurt Stringfellow, president and CEO of the Sarasota Y. “We are proud to collaborate with United Way Suncoast and USF Sarasota-Manatee in expanding our summer camp program to help children strengthen their literacy skills.”

 Learn more about the United Way Suncoast

A steering committee oversees the program throughout its duration, with periodic meetings to discuss progress, solve problems, and develop changes to the program based on real-time performance data of the youth campers. 30 percent of Sarasota County children are not fully prepared to enter kindergarten or are not reading at grade level by third grade. Summer, when children are out of school, is a particularly vulnerable time. Research data shows:

  • Children living in poverty lose the equivalent of two months of reading skills during the summer. This learning loss is compounded so that at the end of their elementary school experience, they may be three or more years behind peers.
  • Two-thirds of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summertime learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.

“The generosity of United Way Suncoast in funding this visionary summer arts education program enables vital community resources to collectively impact the learning of our most vulnerable citizens: Our children,” said Terry A. Osborn, regional vice chancellor for academic and student affairs (formerly dean of the College of Education) at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. “This one-on-one teaching opportunity will better prepare our teacher candidates for fall internships in area elementary schools. The more experienced they are in the classroom, the better the outcomes for themselves and their students.”

Celebrating 20 Years of Brunch on the Bay

Brunch on the Bay

On Sunday, November 10th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the University of South Florida Sarasota- Manatee will celebrate the 20th Anniversary Brunch on the Bay, under tents on the beautiful USFSM campus.

For more information on Brunch on the Bay and how the event supports student scholarships, visit: USFSM.edu/Brunch.

SRATE and FATE Conference for Teacher Educators

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee welcomed the Annual Southern Regional Association of Teacher Educators (SRATE) and Florida Association of Teacher Educators (FATE) Conference October 10 through 12. Dr. Marie Byrd-Blake, associate professor in the College of Education, chaired the event as president elect of SRATE and FATE.

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Education was presented with the Innovation in Teacher Education Award from SRATE for its work on arts-integration through the Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT). “The recognition of our efforts through the Center for PAInT would not be possible without the partnerships that form the foundation of our work,” said Terry A. Osborn, dean of the College of Education. “This award speaks to the incredible artistic resources of our region and the collective good will of the organizations, schools, and community supporters who come alongside their university’s College of Education for the benefit of the children of our area.”

The theme of the Conference was Teacher Effectiveness: Brilliance in the Making. Approximately 250 teacher educators, students, and administration from 15 southeastern states were represented on campus: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Along with research presentations on teacher education, the conference included board meetings of SRATE, FATE and the national Association of Teacher Educators (ATE).  SRATE is a regional professional organization affiliated with ATE. Its purpose is to improve teacher education, broadly conceived, in the Southeastern United States and directly or indirectly throughout the nation by its affiliation with ATE.

Two USFSM undergraduate students in the College of Education, Miriam Fleck and Naomi Jacobs, were also awarded the David Watts Scholarship for outstanding future educators. The students were nominated by Dr. Byrd-Blake based on their scholarship, service and leadership.

Dr. Marie Byrd-Blake said, “Over two hundred education professionals visited our campus for the 60th Annual SRATE Conference. The feedback received from the presenters and attendees was overwhelmingly positive. It was great to highlight what our campus has to offer to those from national, regional, state and local educational institutions.”

For more information about the Center for PAInT at USF Sarasota-Manatee, please visit www.usfsm.edu/paint

2013-14 USF Sarasota-Manatee Freshman Preview

The 2013-14 USF Sarasota-Manatee Viewbook is a comprehensive guide to the university, and its faculty, staff and students geared toward students interested in becoming a freshman at USFSM in Fall 2014.

Dr. Lynn McBrien, Faculty

Jody L. McBrien is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. She received her doctorate in Educational Studies from Emory University in May, 2005, where she was the 2004 recipient of the university’s Humanitarian Award, given to students who demonstrate exemplary service in social justice. She received the 2011 Faculty Research Award from USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy for her ongoing work in the formerly war-torn town of Lira in Uganda, Africa.


If you were selling USFSM to an incoming student what would you say?

Take advantage of the small class sizes. They give you the opportunity to really learn from some highly trained experts that fill our colleges. Do not think that just because you are at a small university, the professors are not top researchers and experts, because they are! We have professors from Stanford and Harvard, from top public universities, and from international universities that offer a diversity of knowledge and perspectives. Come with more than a degree and career goal in mind; come to absorb the upper level knowledge and array of subject matter that does not get taught in high school. Fill your mind with new knowledge and concepts you have never thought of before. The undergrad experience is truly one of a lifetime. Live it fully!

How has USFSM made you a better professional/person?

I began at USFSM in 2005, the last year the campus was on the New College campus. The collegiality of the faculty and staff were nurturing and helpful as I learned my way around the full-time world of academia. I also taught in Tampa for the first two years of my career, and I had the best of mentors on that campus and at Sarasota-Manatee. I will admit, I wish I could teach more courses in my area of expertise, Comparative and International Education. However, this university has supported my international research even though we do not offer the discipline of international education at any of the USF system campuses, and this support has allowed me to receive several research awards and a fellowship resulting from that research. This support has certainly made me a better academic on all three levels of this career: teaching, research, and service. And though I do not teach a regular course in comparative education, you can be sure that my research serves my teaching and my students. Most people would never guess that Florida is the top state in the country for resettling refugees and asylum seekers, along with Cuban entrants. That number came to 28,000 in 2012. Even if our students in education never teach outside the state of Florida, in order to support our international population of children, many of whom have special challenges due to past experiences of war or terror, they need to understand perspectives of other cultures, other school systems, and the psychosocial aspects of migration. They must have a healthy debate with themselves and others that breaks past the powerful negative stereotypes about children and families they are hired to teach. My personal research with resettlement, camps, and the post-war experience gives them first-hand examples and perspectives they have not heard previously. Most are not even aware that there are millions of children around the world who would love an opportunity to go to school, but they will never have it. This kind of knowledge is life changing. It alters perspectives and teaches about privilege in a powerful way.

What are some of your goals for the future?

My immediate goal is to finish the Lira book and prepare for the amazing opportunity I have to live and work in New Zealand next year. I hope to complete the year in Australia if I can receive a Fulbright. Then when I return to USFSM, I will begin work on a book about policy and practice in the four English-speaking resettlement countries of the world: the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as I will have experience in each.

I would like to have a stronger voice in policy and working towards policy that follows careful research into practices that work and make sense. I hope the work I do in New Zealand will be helpful in that goal. I also want to become more engaged in the workings of USF World, especially in international partnerships and opportunities for our students to gain international experiences while students. This July I am taking an undergraduate student, Ashley Metelus, with me to learn from the schools and the people of Lira. What an exciting opportunity to open the eyes of a highly dedicated and caring student to the rich culture of Uganda! I wish every student could have at least one international opportunity.

What is the best part of USFSM?

I think the strength lies in having the best of two academic worlds. We maintain a nurturing environment with our small classes and opportunities for students to work closely with professors. The non-traditional campus creates classes with 20-70-somethings learning from one another. At the same time, we have opportunities that come from working within a research extensive university system. Tampa resources offer us plentiful, top-notch databases for research, for just one example. I belong to the Genocide Research Group that meets twice each semester in Tampa to remain updated on other work similar to mine that occurs in the USF System. For our students and staff that enjoy sports aspects of university life, it is not too far to travel to support Bulls athletics; and we are building quite a crew team on our own campus. Our new campus is beautiful, and as we build our student body, I am hopeful that student clubs and activities continue to grow and offer our students, staff, and community opportunities to grow their minds and hearts together, from the remarkable Perlman music program in December/January to cutting edge speakers, world class biology housed at Mote, and more.

Beth Lukens, Alumna

Beth Lukens is a graduate of USF Sarasota-Manatee from the College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership. Lukens currently works for Marriott International in Tampa.

Why is USFSM important to you personally?

It gave me a great educational foundation to build a career on.  I loved the small classes.  Having grown up in Sarasota, it was interesting to be able to experience the business side of tourism and what makes the destination so successful.

What parts of the university are you involved in/hope to get involved in?

I go to football games and coached at the USF main campus for a year.  I would love to have the opportunity to be more involved (speaking with students, attending events, etc).

How important was your education in preparing you for your business success?

I never thought I would be the person who followed a career path so closely aligned with my education, yet here I am.  Having the book based knowledge of hospitality has definitely given me a leg up in the business world.  I have a strong foundation in all areas of the industry, which has often come in handy in both business situations an simply for personal enrichment.  Whereas this industry used to have a lot of people with no degree at all, now more and more people are getting hospitality specific degrees so it pays to have the degree.

What made you choose USFSM for your college education? 

I was an Art Major at Florida State and came home on Spring Break knowing I needed a change.  Coincidentally USF was just launching its first ever hospitality class that summer.  I had always loved the restaurant business so I made the switch.  I never even considered another school.

If you had to sell someone on USFSM, what would be the one sentence you would say?

USFSM provides students the opportunity to learn in a small, engaging environment while being engulfed in a community that offers endless resources for success in a career in tourism.