The USFSM Senior Leadership

Dr. Karen Holbrook
Regional Chancellor

Karen A. Holbrook, PhD was appointed regional chancellor at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee on Jan. 2, 2018, after serving as executive vice president at USFSM and senior advisor to the president of the University of South Florida system since the summer of 2017.

Dr. Holbrook was the interim president at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for one year before returning to USF. She previously served as USF’s senior vice president for global affairs and international research (2010-12), senior vice president for research, innovation and global affairs (2007-10) and as senior advisor to the USF system president (2013-16).

Dr. Holbrook initially came to USF after serving as the president at The Ohio State University (2002-07); the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Georgia; vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at the University of Florida; and associate dean for research and professor of biological structure and medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

She has served on the boards of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), ACT, Inc., the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Council of Education (ACE), the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (now APLU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), Washington Advisory Group (WAG), among others. Dr. Holbrook has also participated on advisory panels and councils for the National Institutes of Health (NIAMS) and was a member of the Advisory Committee to the immediate past Director of the NIH (Elias Zerhouni). She currently serves on the boards of the Institute of International Education (IIE), CRDF Global, Bio-Techne, Academic Assembly, Inc., INTO USF, and is the immediate past board chair for Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and until recently, served on the Board of Trustees for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). She is a Distinguished Fellow of the Global Federation of Councils of Competitiveness (GFCC).

Dr. Holbrook was an active biomedical researcher and NIH MERIT Award investigator early in her career. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a doctorate in Biological Structure at the University of Washington School of Medicine where she served as a postdoctoral fellow in dermatology, faculty member and research administrator.

She is married to Jim Holbrook, a physical oceanographer who spent his career with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at Pacific Marine Environmental Lab in Seattle, Washington and in Washington, D.C. They have one married son, James who is the Senior Art Director and Producer for ABC World News in New York City.


Mr. Eddie Beauchamp
Regional Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs

Eddie Beauchamp serves as regional vice chancellor for business and finance. Beauchamp previously worked at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) in Lawrenceville about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta, where he served as vice president of operations.

During his time at GGC, Beauchamp played a pivotal role in the campus’ rapid expansion, helping it increase from 118 students in 2006 when the college opened to more than 12,000 students today. GGC is a four-year college with 15 majors and 42 concentrations.

Beauchamp holds a master’s degree in accounting from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., and a bachelor’s degree in accounting, with a focus on computer science and computer information systems, from David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.


Bonnie Jones

Dr. Bonnie Jones
Interim Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research & Effectiveness

Bonnie Jones, Ph.D., added the responsibilities of Interim Regional Vice Chancellor (RVC) for Academic Affairs on January 2, 2018, to her positions as chief institutional research and effectiveness officer (CIRO) and institutional accreditation liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

She previously served as RVC for Academic Affairs from 2008-11 and RVC for Academic & Student Affairs from 2011-14. During these six years, USF Sarasota-Manatee became separately accredited by SACSCOC, AACSB (business), and NCATE (education); admitted its first freshman class; and started three new master’s and bachelor’s degrees. Dr. Jones founded the office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at USF Sarasota-Manatee in 2005 after retiring from Ohio’s educational system with 30 years of service.

Prior to joining USF Sarasota-Manatee, Dr. Jones directed initiatives at a medical school and two state universities in a variety of administrative areas, including academic affairs, admissions, financial aid, institutional research, registration and records, and student affairs. She also spent four years as a high school biology, physical science, and English teacher.

Dr. Jones received her bachelor’s degree from Miami University in biological sciences and completed graduate work at Kent State University, earning a master’s degree in Educational Administration and a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations – Educational Psychology. Dr. Jones’s primary research focus for nearly 40 years has been the prediction of student academic success based on demographic, academic, and psychological factors. She has published 18 peer-reviewed journal articles and has 50 invited or peer-reviewed professional presentations at international, national, regional, and state-wide conferences.

Dr. Jones and her husband, Paul, have three grown children: a son and a daughter who are attorneys and a daughter who is an optometrist.


Ms. Lauren Kurnov
Assistant Vice President for Student Success

Lauren joined USFSM two years ago as the Director of Student Success with primary oversight of career services. Her portfolio quickly expanded to include oversight of retention initiatives, academic advising, career advising, veteran services, disability services, and most recently, service learning and student engagement. Lauren led the redesign of the USFSM Advising Department from a traditional academic advising model to a career advising model, and launched several new student success retention initiatives including the Persistence Task-Force, the Green2Gold Academic Success program, Pre-college success programs and Mentor programs. Under Lauren’s leadership, the USFSM internship program grew by 15% over the course of one Academic Year and the number of students on Academic Probation decreased by 82% over the course of one semester. Prior to joining USFSM, Lauren served as both the Director of Student Affairs and the Director of Career and Alumni Services at The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in New York City. Lauren has also worked in the nonprofit sector for the Central Park Conservancy as the Director of Special Events and the Director of Visitor and Volunteer Services.


casey welch, usfsm, usf, usf sarasotaMr. Casey Welch
Assistant Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations

Casey Welch serves as the Assistant Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. As a member of the University of South Florida System, Office of Government Relations he serves as the official liaison between USF Sarasota-Manatee and local, state, regional and federal governments. Within External Affairs, he oversees the Office of Community Engagement, the Communications and Marketing Department, Economic Development activities for the institution; as well as leading the Institute for Public Policy and Leadership at USF Sarasota-Manatee. Mr. Welch served as Deputy Legislative Director for Congressman Adam Putnam who represented portions of the Tampa Bay area and central Florida.  Prior to his position in Washington, D.C. he worked in the Florida House of Representatives and the office of Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  Before coming to USFSM in 2011, he represented two of Florida’s largest agricultural trade associations at the United States Congress and various federal agencies.  Mr. Welch is a graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History.  He is a Sarasota native who is a past president of the Florida 4-H Foundation and a current member of the Mote Marine Laboratory Advisory Council.


Lee Williams, CFRE
Vice Chancellor for Advancement

With more than 25 years of front-line fundraising and advancement leadership experience in both public and private universities, Lee launched a consulting group called “Williams & Associates” (W&A) in 2015.

Through W&A, Lee provides relationship building knowledge and solution based experience– derived first hand–for a variety of clients. Most recently, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University hired Lee to lead their advancement efforts, on a term basis, as Interim Senior Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations.

Throughout her career, Lee has held progressively higher development leadership positions and has participated as a teammate and team leader to achieve multimillion dollar campaign goals.  Her experience includes the following universities: Mississippi State University, George Washington University, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of South Florida, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education, an M. S. in Public Relations from the University of Southern Mississippi and is a certified fundraising executive (CFRE) through the Association of Fundraising Professionals.


Communications Director USFSMMr. Shawn Ahearn
Communications and Marketing Director

Shawn Ahearn serves at the Communications and Marketing Director at USF-Sarasota Manatee. Ahearn comes to USFSM from the University of Pittsburgh where he served as director of marketing and communications for the Division of Students Affairs for the past 10 years.

While at Pitt, Ahearn oversaw a comprehensive multimedia marketing communications operation that provided a wide range of services for 12 student affairs departments, including development of marketing strategies and promotional materials for the many programs and services within the division to support student success.

Prior to his service in student affairs, Ahearn worked as a communications manager in Pitt’s Office of Public Affairs for more than five years, as public relations director for 84 Lumber Co. for two years, and as a college sports information director for 12 years.

Ahearn and his wife, Karen, are in the process of moving to Southwest Florida. They have family residing in Bradenton and Palmetto.