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.

Top Photos of 2014

USF Sarasota-Manatee would like to wish you and your family a very special holiday season. 2014 was a great year for USFSM and the future looks bright moving in to 2015!

Take a look at the top 14 photos from 2014 to relive the top moments from the past year.

USFSM Alumna Crystal Zinn


Students look on as USFSM College of Education alumna Crystal Zinn teaches in her classroom at Myakka City Elementary.

USFSM Students


Students from USF Sarasota-Manatee pose in front of the Rotunda to help commemorate USFSM becoming a four-year university.

USFSM Culinary Innovation Lab


University and community leadership celebrate the opening of the USFSM Culinary Innovation Lab on Lakewood Ranch Main Street.

Hammocks Added to USFSM Campus


Students enjoy the newly installed hammocks across campus.

Hospitabull Evening


A photo from Hospitabull Evening from Spring 2014 hosted by the USFSM College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership.

Spring 2014 Commencement


Parents, friends and families watch on as students graduate at the Spring 2014 Commencement ceremony.

St. Joseph’s Kindergarten Visit


Students from St. Joseph’s kindergarten class get a chance to tour the USFSM campus and meet Rocky.

USF Athletics ‘Around the Horns’ Coaches Tour


USF Women’s Basketball coach Jose Fernandez, Men’s Basketball Coach Orlando Antigua and Football Coach Willie Taggart visit USFSM as part of the Around the Horns Coaches Tour.

USF Sarasota Manatee’s Second Freshman Class


The second freshman class in the history of USF Sarasota-Manatee poses during their orientation day.

USFSM Teaching Hotel


The USFSM College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership makes The Resort at Longboat Key Club the official Teaching Hotel of the college.

Clyde G. Nixon International Business Scholarship Recipients


Over the summer, three USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) students received scholarships from the Clyde G. Nixon International Business Endowment Fund to travel and study abroad. In September, six Nixon Scholars enjoyed a luncheon with members of the Nixon family and the USFSM faculty and staff, where they shared their special experiences.

Brunch on the Bay 2014


USFSM celebrates the 21st annual Brunch on the Bay, an annual fundraising event for student scholarships.

Dr. Sandra Stone Announced as new Regional Chancellor


USF Sarasota-Manatee introduces Dr. Sandra Stone as the new Regional Chancellor at Brunch on the Bay.

USFSM MBA Graduates


Graduates of the USFSM MBA program celebrate their achievement at the Fall 2014 commencement ceremony.

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 & Technology 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.”

USFSM Announces Upcoming Information Session and Open Houses


SARASOTA, Fla. (December 2, 2014) – USF Sarasota-Manatee has scheduled a Master’s Degree Information Session as well as three open houses for prospective students and their families. The Master’s Degree Information Session will be held on Saturday, January 24, from 9 – 11 a.m. in Selby Auditorium on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus located at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. It will include an overview of the admissions process, financial aid, an alumni panel discussion with USF graduates, a faculty and staff breakout session, campus tours and light refreshments. RSVP here.  A map is available here.

A Biology open house will be held on Saturday, January 31 from 10 – 12 p.m. at Mote Marine Laboratory located at 1730 Ken Thompson Parkway, 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.

The second open house is on Thursday, February 19 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the USFSM campus located at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. At 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 and other services. There will be complimentary refreshments and campus tours in addition to the opportunity for freshmen to participate in an instant decision with qualified students receiving on-the-spot acceptance. Sign up for the open house here. A map is available here.

The final open house is an informational event on Thursday, February 26, from 5 –7 p.m. at the USFSM North Port Instructional Site located at 5920 Pan American Blvd., North Port, Fla. 34287. Attendees will learn more about the admissions process, financial aid, academic programs, advising and courses offered at the USFSM North Port Instructional Site. A map is available here. RSVP to this event here.

Instant Decision

As an added bonus, the open houses at USFSM and the USFSM Instructional Site will feature Instant Decision for freshmen, an exciting opportunity for on-the-spot acceptance for qualified high school applicants. To participate, apply online at www.usfsm.eduInstant Decision also requires that applicants present a sealed copy of their official high school transcript to an admissions counselor at the open house. Students should request that their ACT and/or SAT test scores are sent to USFSM, but they may also bring copies of their score reports that day, which will be used in the evaluation.

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

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

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 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.