SARASOTA, Fla. (Sept. 04, 2018) – The Southwest Florida (SWFL) Refugee Task Force has recognized Dr. Jody McBrien for her leadership in organizing USF Sarasota-Manatee’s first World Refugee Day this summer.
“I’m very honored,” the School of Education professor said while accepting a framed Certificate of Appreciation at the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota. “The event was not only about the struggles of moving to a new country, but also about the remarkable accomplishments of the refugees.”
Dr. McBrien thanked the vendors and community members who helped make the event a success, including Lutheran Services Florida and USFSM student volunteers.
“We optimistically expected around 100 people,” she said. “We ended up with over 200 people, and more than 400 bags of food and household items donated during the event.”
Janet Blair, the meeting’s facilitator and regional community liaison for refugee services at the Florida Department of Children and Families, said “this year’s World Refugee Day went above and beyond anything we could have hoped for.”
In addition to Cuban cuisine, the event included a photo exhibit featuring refugees, an interactive children’s art exercise, musical performances by Ukrainian refugees and an exhibition of dancers from the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School and Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Sarasota.
The highlight, however, came when three Cuban refugees talked about their struggle to leave behind friends and family to move to the United States.
World Refugee Day was founded in 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly. Dr. McBrien has served on the SWFL Refugee Task Force since moving to Florida in 2005. The group is comprised of local government and nonprofit leaders who share information on a variety of local refugee-related topics.
The recognition occurred shortly after Dr. McBrien’s return from a Syrian refugee camp in Ritsona, Greece. She is currently editing a book on refugee education in English-speaking countries in addition to collecting information for an article on the status of the camp in Ritsona.
USFSM to host Dr. MacManus on Wednesday
USF Sarasota-Manatee is proud to welcome esteemed political analyst Dr. Susan MacManus for a discussion about “The State of Politics” on Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at USFSM’s Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
Dr. MacManus, who recently retired from USF, is one of the state’s most authoritative and oft-quoted political analysts. She’ll offer an overview of her most recent book, Florida’s Minority Trailblazers, as well as her unbiased view of the current political climate in Florida and the nation. The free talk is sponsored by USFSM and USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy.
USF Sarasota-Manatee to hold 9/11 ceremony
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is remembering victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with a special ceremony that will include hundreds of small flags, one for each victim, planted into the lawn behind the campus courtyard.
The 2,977 flags will be placed Sept. 10 in the late afternoon in anticipation of the 9/11 ceremony. USFSM is asking staff, faculty and students, along with local veterans’ groups and community members, to assist with planting the flags. To volunteer, visit USFSM’s Military and Veteran’s Success Center.
“It’s so important to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11, as well as the courageous efforts of our first responders and military,” said Carlos Moreira, USFSM’s veteran services administrator and one of the ceremony’s organizers. “Our nation owes them a debt of gratitude.”
The Sept. 11 ceremony will kick off at 8:20 a.m. to ensure a prompt start for other events in the program. The Marine Corps color guard from the 4th Amphibious Assault Battalion in Tampa will raise the flag at the campus’ entrance. After that, attendees will be directed to an area behind the courtyard where USFSM Regional Chancellor Dr. Karen Holbrook will offer welcoming remarks at 8:30 a.m., followed by Dr. David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors.
The noted financial advisor and generous USFSM supporter was inside the World Trade Center’s south tower when the building was struck by one of the hijacked jets. He’ll offer his recollection of that day and talk about its effects.
Also at the ceremony, the choir from Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School in Bradenton will sing the National Anthem and representatives from the Sarasota Military Academy will participate in a flag-passing ritual to symbolize the nation’s response to the terrorist attacks.
Moreira said the campus planned a similar ceremony last year but cancelled it following Hurricane Irma. An abbreviated ceremony was held weeks later inside the rotunda.
USFSM career fair to ‘turn the tables’
USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Career Services Office is proposing a unique way to match students and employers – a “reverse career fair.”
Reverse fairs, unlike regular career fairs, put students in control by allowing them to conduct interviews with potential employers. The technique provides insight into jobs and internships students wouldn’t otherwise receive at regular job fairs, says Ben Heins, coordinator of internships and service learning at USFSM.
“If a student is seeking a full-time job or an internship in late 2018 or any time in 2019, they need to apply for this unique opportunity,” he said. “The odds of securing that next big break through this event couldn’t be higher.”
Heins learned about the idea at an educational conference. He’s working with Student Engagement, Student Government and E-Learning to launch the fair on Nov. 8 at the campus’ Selby Auditorium.
The event is dubbed “The Tables Have Turned: USFSM’s Inaugural Reverse Career Fair.” Students must apply by Friday to participate. Twenty participants will be selected to attend four training sessions in October to prepare them to interview the prospective employers.
“We will invite employers based on the student-finalists’ interests and, before the event, provide those employers with briefings on the backgrounds of each student to build excitement,” Heins said.
Bulls Bistro returns this fall
The popular Bulls Bistro program, which pairs students and faculty chefs in an exploration of world cuisines, will return this month with two Thursday events, on Sept. 20 and 27.
Bulls Bistro has attracted a following since its debut two years ago at USFSM’s Culinary Innovation Lab in Lakewood Ranch. Students from the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership work with faculty chefs and staff as the college invites the public to enjoy an evening of delightful culinary creations.
The events are held 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Culinary Innovation Lab, 8130 Lakewood Ranch Main St., Suite D104. Tickets are $25 and available at usfsm.edu/cil.
Each diner receives two glasses of wine (red or white) or two glasses of craft beer, a tasting of three different hors d’oeuvres and one sweet tapas prepared by our chefs and students from the college’s Restaurant Operations Class.
The Sept. 20 event will feature “A Taste of Italy,” while on Sept. 27 our students and chefs highlight regional favorites in “A Taste of America.”
For more about the Bulls Bistro, visit usfsm.edu/academics/college-of-hospitality-and-tourism-leadership/bulls-bistro.aspx.
Applications to PAInT Scholar Program available
The Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) is partnering with USF Sarasota-Manatee’s School of Education (SOE) to institute the PAInT Scholar Program.
Under this special program, PAInT will offer five SOE students an opportunity to engage in arts-integrated academic projects while interning with the center’s arts partners. Students who complete the program will be recognized as PAInT Scholars upon graduation from the School of Education.
Participants must complete 100 hours (a minimum of 20 hours each semester of community service and leadership in arts integration) over four consecutive semesters in the School of Education.
With the support of advisors Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton, coordinator of the PAInT Center, and Dr. Helene Robinson, arts-integration curriculum coordinator in the School of Education, students will conduct arts-integrated research presentations as well as a variety of arts-integrated tasks, projects and leadership/service efforts designed to demonstrate scholarship, skill development and experience in arts-integration pedagogy.
Selection priority will be made in consultation with resident faculty and will promote equal representation across a variety of academic programs. Application to the program will be open through Sept. 30, 2018. To apply, visit: usf.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2s1zr84QesJmVjn.
Brunch on the Bay tickets, sponsorships available
Tickets and sponsorships for Brunch on the Bay are now available, and this year’s event is shaping up to be extra special as it marks 25 years of local support.
Since 1994, Brunch on the Bay attendees have given graciously to fund scholarships for USF Sarasota-Manatee students while also savoring the finest brunch fare from local restaurants and caterers.
This year, as Brunch celebrates its Silver Anniversary, many special features are planned and the guest list is quickly growing, so don’t delay in securing your tickets and table sponsorships.
The event is set for Sunday, Nov. 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
“More than 1,700 local students have received scholarship support from Brunch on the Bay, and we’re thrilled to continue this significant tradition — with a few twists for 2018!” Vice Chancellor for Advancement Lee Williams said. “We’re featuring a Brunch on the Bay Honorary Committee, in addition to the Organizing Committee, and the Honorary Committee co-chairs will be announced soon.”
“Brunch is presented by Mary Kenealy Events of Sarasota, and working with Mary and her talented team has simply been exceptional,” Williams said. “We have a few special guests arranged for the annual gathering; so it’s sure to be memorable. USFSM’s Brunch on the Bay is a fantastic way to spend a Sunday, enjoy wonderful culinary delights and support area students with scholarships.”
Since its start, Brunch has distinguished itself as USF Sarasota-Manatee’s premier fundraising event, adding more than $1.3 million to the university endowment and generating more than $1 million in scholarships, including those to First Generation students, the first in their families to attend college.
“It’s one of the very best events in this community and it’s been around longer than most other events,” said Bob Turner, a USFSM alum and former publisher of the Bradenton Herald. “It’s extremely important to support this event to support the students who need a leg up to further their careers and help our businesses with a workforce that’s ready to go.”
Turner and USFSM graduate Lauren Henry are co-chairs of this year’s Brunch on the Bay Organizing Committee.
“I see so much potential in what this university has to offer in terms of partnering with businesses and leaders in our community,” said Henry, a 2016 graduate. “And so Brunch on the Bay is a culmination of that, where the university and community come together and support the cause of higher education.”
For more about Brunch of the Bay, including tickets and table sponsorships, visit usfsm.edu/brunch or call Pam Gleason at (941) 359-4603.