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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.

C-SPAN Digital Bus to Visit USF Sarasota-Manatee

CSPANThe C-SPAN Digital Bus will visit USF Sarasota-Manatee from 8 – 11:30 a.m. on December 4, when students, faculty and staff and the public at large are invited to take a tour and learn ways to utilize web resources. The 45 feet long, 8 feet wide and 13.5 feet high bus is an interactive, multi-media presentation center that travels the country to promote and enhance C-SPAN’s extensive resources and political coverage. It stops at book festivals, high schools and universities to host students and teachers around the nation, giving them an inside look at C-SPAN’s comprehensive educational and political resources. The Bus is also helping inform communities about the public affairs networks’ Campaign 2014 coverage and promoting C-SPAN’s student documentary contest, StudentCam.

Learn more about the C-SPAN Bus

StudentCam is C-SPAN’s annual national video documentary competition that encourages students in grades 6-12 to think critically about issues that affect their communities and nation.  This year’s theme is “The Three Branches and You: Tell a story that demonstrates how a policy, law, or action by either the executive, legislative or judicial branch has affected you or your community.”  150 student prizes are awarded, totaling $100,000 in prize money.

Aboard the C-SPAN Bus, visitors will learn via HD-TVs, touch screen computers, laptops and mobile devices about C-SPAN’s in-depth public affairs event coverage, C-SPAN’s web offerings, ways to connect with C-SPAN including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, XM Radio and mobile apps and interactive quizzes to test knowledge about political processes.

Hands on demonstrations feature the C-SPAN Video Library, which includes over 200,000 hours of archived video going back to 1987 through C-SPAN’s vast Video Library and Congressional Chronicle.

For more information about StudentCam, visit www.studentcam.org.

15-Year-Old VanOrsdol Feels at Home at USFSM


Rylie VanOrsdol, a 15-year-old USF Sarasota-Manatee student, transfered to USFSM as a junior from State College of Florida.

One of USFSM’s newest students is unique in more ways than one. Rylie VanOrsdol is a 15-year-old junior, who transferred this fall with 61 credits from State College of Florida. Double majoring in Psychology and Criminology, she has dreams of becoming a criminal profiler in a major city. “When I was five I asked my mom if she would promise to babysit my kids while I was on mission with the CIA,” joked VanOrsdol. “I always knew criminal psychology was the field for me.”

In addition to her incredible academic achievements, VanOrsdol has something else that sets her apart. Synesthesia. For many, senses are experienced separately and individually. You hear what you hear and you taste what you taste. But for some, senses overlap and blend together: defining the neurological phenomenon of synesthesia.

VanOrsdol has 18 forms of synesthesia, which is extremely rare since most people with this disorder only have a couple forms. Two of the most important forms she exhibits are mirror touch synesthesia and object personification. She can feel things when they happen to others and she can also identify with objects, animate or inanimate. VanOrsdol can actually taste color, hear color in music or everyday life and see names in colors. She can smell sensations such as sharp, soft, cold, hot, fuzzy, tingly and more.  She can also associate gender and personalities with everyday objects. When she observes someone being touched, she experiences that as if it were happening to her. “It is difficult for me to visually see someone being punched or kissed because I feel that too,” said VanOrsdol.

VanOrsdol also enjoys music and writing poetry because of her heightened sensibilities.  Art provides an escape when she needs one, and an outlet for blocking out uncomfortable situations.  “Sometimes I get too much stimuli and poetry or music helps me calm myself,” said VanOrsdol.

While synesthesia makes VanOrsdol’s life an unpredictable jumble of sensory experiences, she also sees it as an asset that furthers her academic abilities, by giving her more ways to remember information and think about things. “I believe it gives me an exceptional memory,” she said.

VanOrsdol has been warned by professionals that she has chosen a very difficult field to break into. “But that won’t stop me from trying,” she said. “I believe these things alone will certainly help me in identifying criminal behavior or guilt. It’s almost like having a 6th, 7th or 8th sense.”

In ninth grade, VanOrsdol exited high school and began full time dual-enrollment classes at SCF with a GPA of 3.7. Even though her age was seen as a limitation by some peers, she still managed to succeed and feels right at home at USFSM. “I have encountered all positivity here.”

When it came time to find the right college, VanOrsdol always knew she wanted to attend USF and turned down offers from other schools. USFSM’s location and programs fit her individual needs. Dr. Su Senapati, a USFSM English instructor and faculty coordinator, invited VanOrsdol to work in the tutoring center, making her the youngest tutor in the USFSM program.

“I got interested in Rylie because I had heard of synesthesia and was just fascinated when I met her,” said Senapati. “From talking with Rylie I found out she is very good in Math and asked her to fill out a form since I am always trying to recruit good students.”

VanOrsdol plans to attend USF Tampa for graduate school at the ripe old age of 17, but until then will continue to experience all USFSM has to offer. “I am extremely happy with my decision to come here,” said VanOrsdol. “I cannot picture myself anywhere else.”

Priority Deadline for Freshmen Quickly Approaching

Open-HouseSarasota, FL (November 10, 2014)– High school students interested in applying to USF Sarasota-Manatee for the fall 2015 semester should take note of the priority application deadline: January 2, 2015. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis as applications are completed and all supporting documents are received. The priority application deadline also includes consideration for USF merit-based scholarships based on an applicant’s high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

To learn more about USFSM, admissions and merit scholarships, join faculty along with staff from Admissions, Advising, and Financial Aid for an informational Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 13 at USFSM, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail Sarasota in the rotunda. Attendees will also receive complimentary refreshments, campus tours, admissions and financial aid presentations and advising assistance.

For more information, contact Sean Grosso at (941) 359-4264 or sgrosso@sar.usf.edu.

One Open House Remaining for Fall Semester


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

Open Houses:

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 the open house, 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 the Open House, please fill out the form below:

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New Regional Chancellor is Named at USF Sarasota-Manatee

Dr. Sandra Stone USF Sarasota-Manatee USFSM New Regional Chancellor

SARASOTA, Fla. (Sept. 26, 2014) — University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft today named Dr. Sandra Stone regional chancellor of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

Stone comes from Dalton State College in Georgia, where she currently serves as vice president for academic affairs, overseeing a myriad of academic and outreach areas for the Northwest Georgia institution. Her prior experience ranges across academia, state and federal government and sponsored research groups.

“Sandra Stone’s experience, enthusiasm and collaborative spirit will help guide USFSM toward further excellence and strategic growth,” Genshaft said. “Her contributions will surely have an impact on the entire USF System and the region that we serve. I also want to thank USFSM Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Terry Osborn, who has done a remarkable job serving as interim regional chancellor for the past few months.”

Genshaft thanked Sophia Wisniewska, regional chancellor at USF St. Petersburg, for her role in chairing the Search Advisory Committee, as well as the rest of the committee members – comprised of faculty, staff, students and community leaders – for their many months of hard work.

“We had many very talented candidates, but one stood out as the best fit for USFSM,” Wisniewska said. “I am grateful that President Genshaft shares our excitement about Sandra Stone, and I know we all look forward to working closely together.”

Stone will begin on Nov. 1. She replaces Dr. Arthur Guilford, who retired as regional chancellor in July.

“USFSM is clearly a special place with an exciting future,” Stone said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to help shape that future alongside our talented faculty, students and supporters in Sarasota-Manatee.”

Stone earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of West Georgia, a doctoral degree in sociology from Emory University, and a post-doctoral certificate in organizational behavior from the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.

Tuesday Talks: Dr. Jean Kabongo, Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship

Each Tuesday, we sit down with members of the faculty to discuss their expertise, recent research and some of their accomplishments.  This week, USFSM takes a closer look at Dr. Jean Kabongo.

Dr. Jean D. Kabongo is an associate professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship at the College of Business at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee campus, USA. Prior to joining USF Sarasota-Manatee in the fall of 2010, Dr. Kabongo was an assistant professor at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. He also taught at Virginia State University. His current research focuses on the analysis and promotion of sustainable practices in organizations, sustainable entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurship education in developing economies. His recent papers have been published in Journal of Business Ethics, Business Strategy & the Environment, International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, Journal of the World Business, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research and Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. He holds a Ph.D. in management from Université Laval, Canada.

Tuesday Talks: Dr. Marie Byrd, Elementary Education

Each Tuesday, we sit down with members of the faculty to discuss their expertise, recent research and some of their accomplishments.  This week, USFSM takes a closer look at Dr. Marie Byrd.

Marie Byrd is an associate professor in the Department of Childhood Education and Literacy Studies at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee. A native Floridian, she received her BS and MS in Elementary Education from Florida State University and Florida International University, respectively and her EdD in Educational Administration and Supervision with a minor in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida International University. Marie has a strong background in urban school education with 15 years of service in the Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami, Florida as a teacher, Title One Curriculum Specialist, and Assistant Principal. Prior to arriving at USF Sarasota Manatee in fall 2007, Marie held the title of assistant professor in Educational Administration at the University of Memphis and at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

USFSM Prepares High School Students for SAT

USF Sarasota-Manatee offers free SAT prep class to high school students

Twenty-five high school seniors recently took part in a free test prep class for college admission at USF Sarasota-Manatee. From 10 to 5 on July 28 through August 1, the students received instruction and  practice in essay writing, vocabulary, math tips and tricks and basic tools for test taking, taught by Dr. Su Senapati, faculty coordinator of Learning Support and two tutors, Debra McCarthy, a graduate student in the MA Education program and Jackie Pham-Mowry, who graduated with a Finance degree from USFSM in May. The class also included career counseling, financial aid, the college admissions process and success strategies.

The was a pilot program recommended by USFSM marketing students in their capstone project for Dr. James Curran’s Marketing Management Problems class in Spring 2014. In interviews with high schoolers, the marketing students learned that there was a lot of anxiety about taking the SAT and other college admission exams, and that a class would be a welcome option for local seniors. The sessions filled immediately with a waiting list, which proved them right.

Tuesday Talks: Dr. Jenni Menon Mariano, Secondary Education & Literacies Curriculum

Each Tuesday, we sit down with members of the faculty to discuss their expertise, recent research and some of their accomplishments. This week, USFSM takes a closer look at Dr. Jenni Mennon Mariano.

Dr. Mariano is an associate professor in the College of Education and chairs the secondary education and literacies curriculum area. After developing a peace-building program in post-war Bosnia in response to the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, she became a pioneer in the field of purpose development. Dr. Mariano earned her PhD from Stanford University where she was a member of William Damon’s research group and worked on the first youth purpose studies. As a Positive Psychology Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania she examined life purpose in the well-known Study of Adult Development, which is arguably the longest study of adult development in the world. Also, as a scholar on the Good Work Project run by the Stanford Center on Adolescence, Jenni studied how individuals accomplish work that is both excellent and ethical.

Dr. Mariano’s scholarly work appears in a wide range of leading journals and practitioner publications. She serves on the editorial board of Applied Developmental Science, and is a frequent reviewer for several other journals including the Journal of Positive Psychology, the Journal of Research in Adolescence, Developmental Psychology, Child Development Perspectives, the Journal of Youth Development, and the Journal of Research in Character Education. Jenni’s research on positive human development has been funded by grants from the Florida Campus Compact, the Spencer Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation. She currently collaborates with scholars around the world. Jenni’s framework rests on the idea that the development of a noble life purpose is foundational to our well-being, dignity, and equality. She is dedicated to developing top notch research and programs that help all people develop and realize a sense of purpose in their lives.

USFSM Announces Interim Regional Chancellor

Dr. Terry Osborn, USFSM Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student AffairsTerry A. Osborn, USF Sarasota-Manatee regional vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, will serve as interim regional chancellor effective August 1. Arthur M. Guilford will be stepping down from his position as regional chancellor effective July 31 and retiring as of January, 2015. A national search is currently underway for Guilford’s successor, chaired by Sophia Wisniewska, regional chancellor of USF St. Petersburg.

Osborn’s interim position will ensure a smooth transition for USF Sarasota-Manatee when the new regional chancellor is named by USF System President Judy Genshaft and takes office at a date yet-to-be-determined. “We are excited about welcoming back our faculty and students to the fall semester beginning August 25 and are committed to providing all of our stakeholders with a seamless changeover to our new administration,” said Osborn. “Until that time, it is my honor to serve as Dr. Guilford steps down at the end of July.”