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.”

USF Athletics Brings “Around the Horns” Coaches Tour to USFSM

Willie Taggart USFSM Around the Horns Sarasota Manatee Bradenton USF Athletics

Bulls fans can meet leaders of USF Athletics on June 24 as Head Football Coach Willie Taggart and Head Basketball Coach Orlando Antigua headline the USF Around The Horns Coaches Tour presented by Florida Blue.

The Tour includes a full day in the Sarasota-Bradenton area with a pep-rally style meet-and-greet at USF Sarasota-Manatee from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

The tour, conducted by the USF Bulls Club, includes stops in Orlando, Polk County, Pinellas County, Sarasota-Manatee and Miami during a Florida swing that began Tuesday, June 3 at the Grasslands Country Club in Lakeland. The tour visits Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs and community centers, connecting with alumni, donors and fans in local Florida communities.

The Around The Horns Coaches tour presented by Florida Blue features appearances from USF head coaches including Courtney Draper (volleyball), Jose Fernandez (women’s basketball), and,  at various stops throughout. Rocky the Bull, selected student-athletes and USF spirit squads.

For more information on the Around the Horns Coaches Tour visit the USF Bulls Club website at or email

In Sarasota-Bradenton, the Tour will visit the Newtown Boys & Girls Club, Girls Inc., the 13th Avenue Dream Community Center in Bradenton and the Palmetto Youth Center and the Bradenton Kiwanis Club.

2:30-4 p.m.: USF Sarasota-Manatee Meet & Greet
University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243
Scheduled to attend: Willie Taggart, Orlando AntiguaJose FernandezGeorge KieferDenise Schilte-Brown

5:30-9 p.m.: Dinner Cruise aboard Marina Jack II ($25 per guest)
Marina Jack
2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236
Scheduled to attend: Willie Taggart, Orlando Antigua, Jose FernandezGeorge Kiefer, Denise Schilte-Brown

USFSM Teaches Kindergarten Class about Going to College

USFSM College Prep Saint Joseph Catholic School Bradenton Sarasota

Back row: Kaela Herrington, Karla Pallares, Claire Barbier, Rocky D. Bull, Dustin Charles, Joseph Wenk, Faith Ambrose
Middle row: Kaya Hogue, Aidan McGrath, Sienna Bell
Front Row: Liam Tan, Sophia Ierulli, Emma Ambrose

You’re never too young to plan for the future. On Tuesday, May 13, USF Sarasota-Manatee provided a campus tour for kindergarten students from Saint Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton, introducing them to a university setting and providing insight into what it means to get a college degree.

 Learn more about USF Sarasota-Manatee at an upcoming Open House

Teacher Jennifer Brickey’s class first read Mahalia Mouse Goes to College by John Lithgow, which prepared them to learn about different majors and career choices including criminology, biology, hospitality, business and education. The students then toured the N. Tamiami Trail campus grounds and enjoyed lunch in the courtyard with a special appearance by Rocky D. Bull, USFSM’s mascot. 

USF Sarasota-Manatee Will Hold 61st Commencement Ceremony


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s spring commencement exercises will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 5 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, One Haben Blvd., Palmetto, Fla., 34221.

Of the 330 USF Sarasota-Manatee seniors who have applied to graduate at the spring 2014 commencement, 190 are expected to attend the ceremony. This number includes 42 master’s degree candidates and 286 bachelor’s degree candidates from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Hospitality and Technology Leadership and the USF Tampa College of Behavioral and Community Sciences.

Regional Chancellor Arthur M. Guilford will represent USF Sarasota-Manatee, and USF System President Judy Genshaft will preside. Bonnie Jones, regional vice-chancellor for academic and student affairs will be the ceremony announcer and Katerina Annaraud, faculty senate president, will bear the mace of the University.  Sarah Bradtmueller, freshman from 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: Kaleigh Lundy, USFSM College of Education, Elementary Education. 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. Kaleigh Lundy graduates with a 3.7 GPA and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She served as president of the Innovators Guiding New Ideas through Education (I.G.N.I.T.E.) creativity club for her last three semesters at USFSM, and attended a Creativity Problem Solving Institute conference in Buffalo, N.Y., after which she hosted two training sessions on campus for fellow classmates. Lundy organized a community service event at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, was an active member of the Educators’ Alliance student organization and an advocate for USFSM’s Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT). She also volunteered in an elementary after school program and participated in internships at three different Manatee County elementary schools, acting as student teacher for first through third grades. Lundy currently works in a first grade classroom at Virgil Mills Elementary.

Outstanding Graduate Award: Christopher Davis, College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology. This award is presented by the USF Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the USF Alumni Association to recognize the graduating senior who embodies leadership, school spirit, community service, character and scholarship. This spring, Christopher Davis, 35, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an overall GPA of 3.58. Prior to his enrollment at USFSM, Davis served more than 14 years in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and senior intelligence analyst in Special Operations where he was awarded two Bronze Star medals over seven deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines. Davis is also a decorated first sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division.  After his service to his country, Davis struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and was homeless for a period of time. He began counseling and took advantage of the G.I. Bill to enroll at USFSM, where he served as an associate justice in Student Government, was a member of the rowing club and participated on the university’s veterans committee and veteran’s legacy scholarship committee. In addition to maintaining a 12+ credit hour course load over seven consecutive semesters, Davis began a full-time job as program manager for Goodwill Manasota’s new American Veterans and their Families Initiative, which has assisted more than 700 veterans in accessing local, state and federal services. In this role, he has raised more than $650,000 to support transitioning veterans, developed a network of more than 200 community, state and federal leaders, authored the Goodwill Veteran’s Resource Guide and was named Sarasota’s Veteran of the Year in 2013. After graduation, Davis plans to depart immediately to begin a 2, 185 mile hike of the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness of the needs of veterans returning from deployment. Starting in Katahdin, Maine, and ending near his hometown of Ellijay, Ga., Davis expects the journey to take about five months, while passing through 14 states. 

Paul Searles Webecke Award: Ryan Stulman, College of Business.  This honor is given to the most outstanding student in the Master of Business Administration program. Ryan Stulman received his BS in Finance from USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Business in 2008 and will be graduating the MBA program with an overall GPA of 3.86. He currently holds the position of payroll operations supervisor for BenefitMall, where he is responsible for effective communications to clients regarding payrolls and ongoing projects that relate to client relationships. He is a veteran of the Iraq war where he served as sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning a Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Achievement in 2005. An avid runner, Stulman has also volunteered time with the Wounded Warrior Project as a peer mentor, organizing local activities and helping wounded veterans cope with stress and recovery. Looking ahead, Stulman plans to pursue his passion for cooking by opening his own restaurant.

Spring 2014 Outstanding Professor: Ernest Scott, College of Arts and 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. Dr. Ernest Scott is an Instructor of Criminology and a 30-year law enforcement veteran who retired as chief of investigations from the Orange County Florida Sheriff’s Office. He received his Ph.D. in Public Affairs/Criminal Justice in 2006 from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Scott is a co-founder of the FINDER system, a law enforcement information sharing project that is in wide use by Florida’s police agencies. He is involved in law enforcement research with primary interests in information sharing, crime and intelligence analysis, intelligence led policing, and human resources. Dr. Scott is proud to have been voted the Most Outstanding Professor for spring 2014 and says he enjoys the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with students from diverse backgrounds and life goals, helping them prepare for successful careers. “I am flattered by our students’ recognition, particularly since I have demanded so much of them in terms of meeting the high standards that comprise the foundation value of the USFSM degree,” he said. “While I am honored by this award, it is clear to me that neither I nor the students I have been privileged to work with would succeed without the collective contributions of our committed USFSM faculty and staff.”  

USFSM Forms Partnership with Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training

USF Sarasota-Manatee recently signed a unique memo of understanding with the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training which will allow Masters of Fine Arts students to serve as “courtesy faculty” instructors in the USFSM General Education program. Beginning in the fall, USFSM students will benefit from an enriched theatre appreciation course with opportunities to witness productions in development and interact with various artists at the Asolo. Through this collaboration, third year advanced MFA students will also expand their skill sets and augment their résumés with college teaching experience.  The agreement is for a period of two years.

“USFSM is thrilled to have a partnership with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training whereby third-year MFA students will teach the Introduction to Theatre course as part of our curriculum,” said Jane Rose, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.  “Our students will experience a uniquely rich version of this course, which introduces theatre as a collaborative art and profession. In addition to being taught by advanced MFA actors, they will have multiple opportunities to see plays, tour backstage areas and converse with various artists as they witness the production process first hand.”

Greg Leaming, director of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory training program looks forward to adding undergraduate teaching experience to his students’ already impressive résumés. “The partnership with USFSM allows the Conservatory to build into the training program this important skill set, making our students highly marketable in this extremely competitive business,” Leaming said. He also expects that the partnership will deliver a greater degree of exposure and awareness of theater in general, and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory in specific. It will showcase Leaming’s internationally renowned actor training program and the work being done on the Cook and Mertz stages  to a highly desirable young audience—the student body of USFSM. “What has been up to now one of the best kept secrets here in the community of Sarasota will now be a very well-known and highly laudable fact.” Leaming predicts.