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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.

USFSM Military Appreciation Day a time to reflect and give thanks

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By: Rich Shopes
USF Sarasota-Manatee Communications & Marketing

SARASOTA, Fla. (April 17, 2015) – Student-veterans attending Thursday’s Military Appreciation Day at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee heard two key messages: Help is here and your service is invaluable.

“What you did mattered,” Jason Beardsley of Concerned Veterans for America told the 100 or so who gathered in the USFSM courtyard to peruse information booths, eat barbecue and listen to speakers.

USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone opened the afternoon event saying, “Each one of us has a defining moment in our lives. For me it was Vietnam. … I really respect and appreciate the service of our veterans.”

She was preceded by an American Legion Post No. 266 (Sarasota) color guard presentation.

The fourth year for the Appreciation Day, the event was moved from November to April so it wouldn’t conflict with Veterans Day ceremonies at USF Tampa and in the local area. The USF System is regularly recognized as one of the top “Military Friendly Schools” in the country.

USF Sarasota-Manatee counts about 130 veterans among its student body, although that number is likely low because it counts only veterans who paid for classes using veteran benefits and not those enrolled simply as “students,” said Todd Hughes, USF Sarasota-Manatee’s veterans’ services administrator.

“There are some veterans who just paid out-of-pocket,” he said.

Regionally, more than 90,000 veterans live in the Sarasota-Manatee area, making it one of the highest concentrations of veterans nationally, said Steven Garcia, veterans’ service officer for Sarasota County.

Mostly local veterans and student veterans attended the all-day rally, which was punctuated by 70s-era rock n’ roll and concluded with a 6 p.m. screening of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” at the Selby Auditorium.

“I like the presentation of the services. It’s important, especially for the kids in school, to see this,” summed up Army veteran and accounting student Claude Johnson Jr., 51.

In addition to Beardsley, a former Army Green Beret, Air Force veteran Carl Hunsinger of the Manatee County Veterans’ Council addressed the crowd, urging student-veterans to join service groups, such as the America Legion, and to capitalize on the benefits available to them.

In some cases, educational benefits not directly used by veterans can be passed on to family members, he said.

“So don’t take something like basket-weaving just to use up your benefits. You can pass them on to your kids,” Hunsinger said.

Johnson said one reason he attended USF Sarasota-Manatee was because his benefits essentially funded his entire education. There might even be room for his daughter to take classes.

“I like going to school and like to learn,” he said, shrugging.

Among other attendees Thursday were: The Sarasota County Veterans Commission, Val’s Dog Tags, the Hearing Loss Association of America Sarasota Chapter, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Goodwill Manasota, the Counseling and Wellness Center, the Sarasota County Veterans Service Office and two representatives from Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, who answered questions about veterans benefits and upcoming legislation that would ease veterans’ registration costs at colleges and universities.

The venue also included a rock-climbing wall, as well as an inflatable obstacle course that enabled students to dive between cushions and tumble down a slide.


About USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM)

USF Sarasota-Manatee is a regional campus of the University of South Florida system, offering the prestige of a nationally ranked research university with the convenience of a hometown location, including classes in Manatee County, in North Port and online. Separately accredited, USFSM is ideal for those interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master’s degree, professional certification, or continuing education credit in a small, personal setting with distinguished faculty and a dynamic curriculum of over 40 academic programs. Website: www.usfsm.edu

USFSM to recognize scholarship donors and recipients with reception

hrpicSARASOTA, Fla. (April 15, 2015) – University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) will host a cocktail reception Monday, April 20, at 4 p.m. to recognize scholarship donors and recipients.

Scholarships are integral to student success at USF Sarasota-Manatee. Likewise, USFSM’s scholarship program would not enjoy nearly the success it has without the support of scholarship donors.

“This event is an excellent opportunity for us to thank our wonderful supporters for their generosity,” said Dennis Stover, Regional Vice Chancellor for University Advancement. “It also gives our donors an opportunity to meet the students that they directly supported. It is so important for our students to learn a little bit about the people that have contributed to their success at USF Sarasota-Manatee. It makes it much more personal.”

Donors and recipients will have an opportunity to mingle at Monday’s Scholarship Recognition Reception. Donors will hear how their support is changing lives, while recipients will be able to thank donors for their kind and generous support.

The two-hour event will be held in the USFSM Rotunda on campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Attire is business casual. The event is free and open to donors and scholarship recipients only.

Donors may RSVP to usfsm.edu/celebratescholarship or call Pam Gleason, 941-359-4603. Scholarship recipients can RSVP at usfsm.edu/celebratescholarship or call Sara Fleming at 941-359 4578.

University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Celebrates Military Appreciation Day on Campus


SARASOTA, Fla. (April 14, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Veteran Services and Student Veteran Society will host a free, open to the public event on April 16th, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a showing of American Sniper in Selby Auditorium at 6 p.m. The event will include local veteran service providers, three keynote speakers, complimentary food and beverages, a rock-climbing wall, an obstacle course, custom dog tags, a MRE tasting table and a picture booth with military uniforms.

“This event is important because it brings unity and there will be a lot of veteran service providers on site,” said Todd Hughes, USFSM veteran services administrator. “Veterans, student or not, will be able to enroll in the VA Healthcare System, start a compensation claim packet, speak with the many local organizations like VFW, DAV and CVA.” There will also be representatives to assist veterans with questions regarding higher education as well as walk through the admissions process for those interested in enrollment at USFSM.

Opening remarks from USFSM Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone will begin the celebration followed by an honor guard presenting the colors. Throughout the day, there will be presentations from three notable veteran representatives. The first will be Gary Berntsen, the Commander of all CIA forces in Eastern Afghanistan during the takedown of Osama Bin Laden, who will speak about Operation Jawbreaker and his New York best seller Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA’s Key Field Commander. The second speaker will be Carl Hunsinger, a retired chief master sergeant for the United States Air Force, who will speak about veteran reintegration to civilian life. Finally, Joni Hansen, a veteran service representative and military academy coordinator for Congressman Vern Buchanan’s office, will talk about a new bill which hopes to bridge the gap in GI Bill payments.

“The purpose of this event is three part,” said Hughes. “To bring awareness to the USFSM student body of the sizable veteran population on campus, to show our appreciation to the veterans and relay to the community that we are a locally-based, military and veteran friendly school that is ready to serve them.”

USFSM Open House April 11th


SARASOTA, Fla. (April 7, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee is hosting an open house event for prospective students and their families on Saturday, April 11 from 9 – 11:30 a.m. at the USFSM campus located at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. To sign up for the open house, please click here. A map is available here.

At this open house, attendees will receive an overview of USFSM, learn about academic programs for freshmen, transfers and graduate students, as well as learn more about the admissions process, financial aid, student life, and other services. There will be complimentary refreshments and campus tours in addition to detailed information about each of USFSM’s 40+ academic programs.

USFSM offers over 40 bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and certificate programs in four colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, and Hospitality and Technology Leadership. Day, evening, weekend and online classes serve more than 4,500 students annually.

Instant Decision

As an added bonus, the open house will feature Instant Decision for transfer students, an exciting opportunity for on-the-spot acceptance for qualified transfer applicants earning an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree from a Florida public college who are applying for the Summer 2015 or Fall 2015 terms. To participate, apply for admission online before the event at www.usfsm.eduInstant Decision also requires that applicants submit their official transcripts electronically in advance of the event or present sealed copies of their official transcripts to an admissions counselor at the open house.

Culinary Innovation Lab Interns Bring World Class Education to Sarasota


Students at the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, France, are required to complete an intensive internship at the end of their degree programs. To two of these students, Juliette Ravinale and Ricardo Granda Pineda, USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) presented the perfect opportunity.

Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu, dean of USFSM’s College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership, guest lectured at the Paul Bocuse Institute in 2013. There, he mentored both Ravinale and Pineda and invited them to complete their final degree requirement at USFSM’s Culinary Innovation Lab (CIL).

Born in Monaco, 23-year-old Juliette Ravinale is interning alongside the chefs at the CIL to complete her bachelor’s degree in International Management from the Paul Bocuse Institute. She began her hospitality studies in Monaco, where she was given the opportunity to spend two years working for Prince Albert II and renowned French chef Joël Robuchon. Ravinale has also spent time working at Hotel Metropole in Monte-Carlo and under Chef Tom Kitchin, Scotland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef proprietor. “These were amazing professional and personal experiences for me,” said Ravinale. “I learned about very high quality standards of the service, the discipline, the passion for work and the respect for the products.”

Since Ravinale began her internship at USF Sarasota-Manatee, she acts as the intern assistant manager of USFSM’s CIL, aiding the chefs with their Introduction to Food and Restaurant and Event Planning classes, creating events, meeting with guests and establishing menus. Of special interest to her are the sustainability projects, marketing duties and event organization, which she would like to further develop in her future career.

“USFSM offered me a great professional opportunity by asking me to do my internship at the CIL,” said Ravinale. “Here the professional network is phenomenal and the intercultural management I am dealing with helps me to become stronger both socially and professionally.”

Ricardo Pineda, a native of Ecuador, is the second Paul Bocuse Institute student interning at the Culinary Innovation Lab. Pineda began his culinary studies at the Mausi Sebess Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of South America’s most recognized culinary institutes. After working many years in the hospitality industry, Pineda enrolled in Paul Bocuse Institute’s Culinary Management & Innovation master’s degree program.

Pineda spent 20 weeks interning at the CIL beginning in August 2014. His primary duties involved assisting USFSM instructors Garry Colpitts and Joe Askren with courses and activities at the CIL. During Colpitts’s Introduction to Food course, Pineda assisted with food setup, provided classroom support and guided the students through recipe execution. He also showcased his culinary and managerial skills by organizing and hosting public and private events at the CIL.

“This internship was very exciting for me,” said Pineda. “It gave me the opportunity to be in charge of an entire event’s organization, set up menus and food displays and perform a lot of public relations.”

After earning his master’s degree, Pineda plans to become a professional chef and own a self-sustainable restaurant that harvests its own food. He also hopes to apply his graduate studies toward researching and developing new and innovative restaurant concepts. “My concerns are about food supply and their nutritional aspects,” said Pineda. “I want to enhance the food system of the community where I live.”

Through these internship experiences, Ravinale and Pineda gained professional skillsets, valuable hands-on work experience and a unique international perspective that will serve them in their future hospitality careers.  “From my personal observation, I do recommend other students come to USFSM. It is great to have an intercultural experience and be taught by excellent professionals,” said Pineda. “There is a huge and promising future for the College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership.”

Alumnus Ed Hashey Honored as Sarasota County Teacher of the Year

USFSM alumnus Ed Hashey was named Sarasota County Teacher of the Year (Photo credit: Rachel O'Hara - Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

USFSM alumnus Ed Hashey was named Sarasota County Teacher of the Year (Photo credit: Rachel O’Hara – Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

SARASOTA, Fla. (March 30, 2015) – Ed Hashey, Wilkinson Elementary School teacher and University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) alumnus, has been named Sarasota County’s 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year. Finalists included Christi McDowell-Cameron of Brookside Middle School and Russell Finger of Suncoast Polytechnical High School.

Before teaching, Hashey’s career paths spanned the mechanical engineering field, service in the Navy’s Nuclear Power program and graphic design with a specialization in new-media journalism. Each successful career path fostered the skills that would shape his teaching career: from civic duty to understanding and communicating with one’s audience.

For Hashey, his defining moment came on September 11, 2001, when he witnessed the terror attack firsthand. “I witnessed many situations where parents did not come home that day,” he said. “I was very reflective and felt a strong need to start giving back.” After his wife gave him a pamphlet on USFSM’s Master of Arts in Teaching K-6 program, he knew that he had found his next step.

While at USFSM, Hashey applied his studies to internships and hands-on experience in local classrooms. His coursework enabled him to teach two elementary school classes and participate in collaborative conferences set up by his cohort mentor, Dr. Stephen Rushton. Hashey knew he had found his passion when ESOL coordinator Alicia Whitaker connected him with an at-risk boy who was failing school.  “It was a win-win for both of us,” he said, recalling his daily routine of reading with the boy to build his confidence. “This inspired me with the purpose I was after: to help at-risk children in need.”

Hashey was hired at Wakeland Elementary immediately after graduation in May 2008. During the six years he taught there, the number of at-risk students gradually decreased as the school transitioned into an IB school. Last year, he saw an opening at Wilkinson Elementary as an opportunity to help a greater number of at-risk children. There, he currently engages at-risk fifth-grade students with a curriculum he designs to fit their individual needs. “Getting a new class roster each fall is like winning a big prize. I love to identify their passions and tailor my lessons around what they like,” he said. “That is my fuel and most rewarding aspect: knowing a child, and then designing curriculum that aligns with benchmarks but is also specifically tailored for them to realize they are intelligent and can succeed.”

Every year, Sarasota County selects three finalists for the Teacher of the Year honor and reveals the recipient at an award luncheon. On Tuesday, March 24, Superintendent Laurie White officially named Hashey the 2015-2016 Sarasota County Teacher of the Year. With the honor comes a cash prize of $3,500. All finalists will also receive instructional technology advancements for their classrooms worth $10,000.

“It humbles me and makes me reflect. I sincerely feel any of those teachers deserved to be up there instead of me. It means that I am being recognized for a very noble cause—that is to teach children,” Hashey said when asked what the award meant to him. “I said it at the award luncheon, and I will say in writing: ‘I am among giants in this profession!’”


About USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM)

USF Sarasota-Manatee is a regional campus of the University of South Florida system, offering the prestige of a nationally ranked research university with the convenience of a hometown location, including classes in Manatee County, in North Port and online. Separately accredited, USFSM is ideal for those interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master’s degree, professional certification, or continuing education credit in a small, personal setting with distinguished faculty and a dynamic curriculum of over 40 academic programs. Website: www.usfsm.edu

Campus Compact Honors USFSM Student as a Newman Civic Fellow for Community Engagement

USF Sarasota-Manatee student Jeanine Ashforth Named Newman Civic Fellow

SARASOTA, Fla. (March 26, 2015) – Inspired by a class service project, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) student Jeanine Ashforth turned her idea into a reality to help a disabled veteran. For her commitment to community and service, Ashforth was named a nationally recognized Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact.

Ashforth’s  inspiration for the service project came from the  Reintegration and Resiliency course she took with Dr. Eric Hodges, in which the primary objective is to develop an idea to address the needs of homeless veterans in the community.

In the course of three months, in addition to her six classes and three part-time jobs, Ashforth designed, acquired supplies for and constructed a “tiny house” for a mentally disabled veteran with whom she had developed a personal friendship. He was able to move out of his van and into his new home days before this winter’s polar vortex brought freezing temperatures to southwest Florida.  He lives there to this day.

“Jeanine is a model for how one person can make a difference, as well as for how to take knowledge from the classroom into the community,” said Dr. Sandra Stone, USFSM Regional Chancellor. “She is an effective change agent, not only through her very intelligent and articulate presentation of the issues, but also through her focused and effective problem-solving efforts.  She is clearly one who translates theory into action to make a meaningful difference.”

Having grown up as an “Army brat,” Ashforth plans to commit her career to serving veterans. In addition to her work on the issue of homelessness among veterans, she also serves as a mentor in the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a support organization for those who have lost loved ones to military service.

The Newman Civic Fellow designation is given to promising student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in their community. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is generously sponsored by the KPMG Foundation.  Through service, research and advocacy, these Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the causes of social issues and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.

As these students tackle community challenges, they provide fresh energy and perspective, inspire and mobilize others and develop their own skills and potential. This year’s record number of Fellows will create an even greater capacity for engagement and change through online networking. In keeping with their generation’s emphasis on networks over hierarchies, Newman Civic Fellows will share ideas and materials to further their work through an exclusive online community.

“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world,” notes Campus Compact Board member Richard Guarasci, president of Wagner College (NY).

Through service-learning courses and other opportunities for community engagement, colleges are developing students’ public problem-solving skills, such as the ability to analyze community needs, the willingness to participate in public processes and debate, the commitment to raise awareness about challenges and the ability to inspire others to become part of the solutions.


About Campus Compact

Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. For more information about the organization and the award, visit http://www.compact.org.

About USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM)

USF Sarasota-Manatee is a regional campus of the University of South Florida system, offering the prestige of a nationally ranked research university with the convenience of a hometown location, including classes in Manatee County, in North Port and online. Separately accredited, USFSM is ideal for those interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master’s degree, professional certification, or continuing education credit in a small, personal setting with distinguished faculty and a dynamic curriculum of over 40 academic programs. Website: www.usfsm.edu


ACT Prep Class Offered to Local High School Students

ACT Prep Class

SARASOTA, Fla. (March 23, 2015) – University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) will host an ACT Prep Class for high school students on Saturdays, March 21, March 28 and April 11 from 9 am – 1:30 pm at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail.

“ACT Prep Classes are an important resource for the community,” said Lora Kosten, faculty coordinator responsible for organizing the class. “Instructor Joann Hillman’s goal is to help students achieve mastery of the test components and have a mindset of positive achievement as they enter the testing environment. This is accomplished through preview, drill and review to improve cognitive aspects of test taking while at the same time exposing students to wellness strategies such as the need for adequate sleep, high protein snacks and a quiet mind to support optimal performance.”

Throughout the course, students will learn how to master ACT college entrance exams and practice their new skills in a college atmosphere. This three-week prep class is open to the first 25 registered high school students. The cost for this course is $50 along with the required prep book, which is to be purchased separately.

“This opportunity will assist high school students in achieving the admission scores needed for college acceptance,” said Kosten.

For more information, please contact Dr. Lora Kosten at 941-926-7783 or visit www.usfsm.edu/testprep.

International Taiwanese Students Complete Internships in Community


SARASOTA, Fla. (February 4, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee’s 11 student cohort from Taiwan, who arrived last fall to complete a 10-month Hospitality Management International Certificate program, are now completing internships as part of the second and final phase of their education program. In addition to being enrolled in a Hospitality Management Internship class, these students are required to rotate between at least two different hospitality management position areas such as front desk, housekeeping, food service and culinary operations.  When the students return to Taiwan in May 2015, they will receive credit for their tenure from the Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism.

“USFSM is located in one of the biggest hospitality labs in the world: Florida,” said Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu, dean of the College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership. “Since the Tampa Bay area houses some of the best hotels, resorts, restaurants and theme parks in the country, our International Certificate Program is very unique in that it incorporates a five-month internship in one of the partner hospitality organizations. This allows our certificate students to apply what they learn at USFSM into practice and gives them valuable hands-on experience.”

During the fall 2014 semester, the Taiwanese students took four courses including a hospitality introductory class, event management, restaurant management and finance and accounting management for the hospitality industry.  Now these students are interning at Busch Gardens, Loews Don CeSar Hotel, Epicurean Hotel, Courtyard by Marriot and the Department of Bradenton Area Convention Center to apply their classroom lessons to a real-world setting.

“This experience has broadened my horizons. Every day at work I learn so much – not only about the hotel operation and service technique from the interaction with colleagues, but also about the culture: the festivals, football, the food, people from different countries,” said Joyce HSU, one Taiwanese student interning at Epicurean Hotel in Tampa. “I’m excited and look forward to the experiences and challenges that I will have for the rest of my internship because it will continue to help me grow in both knowledge and self.”

Another Hospitality Management International Certificate student from Taiwan adds, “This is my first job and it has truly helped improved my English speaking skills,” said Susan LAI, intern at Loews Don CeSar Hotel. “I’ve really learned a lot about developing relationships in the workplace and how to extend professional conversations with guests. I feel so lucky to have chosen this program.”

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Global Engagement Office continues to follow up with these students during the semester and will organize a “fare-well” event before their departure from the U.S. in May 2015.

University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee to Host Biology Open House

Biology Open House

SARASOTA, Fla. (January 29, 2014) – USF Sarasota-Manatee has scheduled an open house for prospective Biology students and their families on Saturday, January 31, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in at the USFSM Teaching Labs at Mote Marine Laboratory located at 1730 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota.

This is an opportunity for prospective students to explore USFSM’s two new teaching labs and the new Biology major. There will be refreshments and the opportunity to learn more about admissions, financial aid, advising and more at this informational open house.

Sign up for the Biology open house here

A degree in Biology from USF Sarasota-Manatee offers students the hands-on experience needed to pursue a career in many fields of biology, as well as the knowledge required to move on to graduate level studies. Graduates demonstrate knowledge in the three principal sub-disciplines of biology: cellular and molecular biology, organismal biology, and ecology and evolution, and are engaged in the scientific process through the planning, execution and interpretation of laboratory or field studies.

With a degree in hand, USFS Biology students are able to analyze ethical challenges and practices in the biological sciences, perform qualitative and quantitative analyses to evaluate scientific information, and can demonstrate skills in the assembly and presentation of oral and written communications on biological investigations.

The USFSM Biology program collaborates with the world-renowned Mote Marine Laboratory, allowing students to be immersed in ongoing research and community engagement in the marine sciences. Research scientists from Mote also teach various courses in the USFSM Biology program. These experiences prepare students to be competitive for an even wider range of graduate programs and professional schools.