An academic Investiture Ceremony for USF President Steven Currall is set for Thursday in Tampa.

Bulls Notebook: USF Sarasota-Manatee faculty to serve as delegates at investiture for USF President Currall

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: November 13, 2019

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SARASOTA, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2019) – Since University of South Florida President Steven Currall, PhD, began his duties on July 1, he’s been busy learning about USF’s three campuses, guiding the university’s consolidation process and meeting with leaders in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Tallahassee.

On Thursday, Currall will formalize his new role as USF’s seventh president at an academic Investiture Ceremony at 2 p.m. in the Yuengling Center at USF in Tampa.

A celebration of USF’s history and traditions, the investiture will include faculty and delegates in academic regalia from across the USF System, including USF Sarasota-Manatee, along with representatives from other colleges and universities.

Participating as official delegates from USFSM will be: Bonnie Jones, PhD, assistant vice president for institutional research and effectiveness; Thomas Becker, PhD, interim dean of USFSM’s College of Business; Brianne Reck, PhD, an associate professor of educational leadership in USFSM’s School of Education; and Lora Kosten, PhD, a level III instructor in the School of Education.

As delegates, they will wear regalia representative of their alma maters. Kosten, who received a PhD in humanities from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, said she’s honored to participate in the ceremony.

“It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of such a historical event and a very special honor to serve as the official delegate from my home institution,” she said.

Before the ceremony begins, the delegates will attend a luncheon at the Yuengling Center Corral. Afterward, they’ll march in the ceremony’s procession in order of their home institution’s founding year.

Jones, who received her doctorate from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, will be among those near the front of the procession as the university was founded in 1809. By comparison, Salve Regina was founded in 1934, so Kosten will be toward the back of the procession.

Reck attended the University of Virginia, founded in 1819, and Becker went to Ohio State University, founded in 1870.

The investiture is open to others who are not delegates, including USFSM staff, students and other faculty. Among those attending will be USFSM Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook, PhD, who will share the platform with Currall and other USF leaders.

For those not attending but wishing see the ceremony, a livestream will be available in USFSM’s Selby Auditorium. For more about the investiture, visit

International Education Week to highlight study abroad programs at USF, USFSM

USF Sarasota-Manatee students travel the globe
USFSM’s Study Abroad program allows students to travel and earn college credit.

International Education Week (IEW) will be held next week to help students and faculty learn about study abroad programs offered by USF and USFSM.

Elizabeth Doud, PhD

IEW is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, and is part of their efforts to promote programs to prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences.

Leading off next week’s session, Elizabeth Doud, PhD, curator of performance programs at the Ringling Museum, will present a lecture on Monday about trends in cultural-exchange programs with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. Her address will run from noon to 1 p.m. in Room B206.

Also Monday:

  • An information session about USFSM’s study abroad trip to Merida, Mexico, will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. in Room B222.
  • Faculty interested in developing study abroad programs can attend an info session from 2 to 3 p.m. Contact Director of Global Engagement Amela Malkic at to attend.

International Education Week continues Tuesday with the Study Abroad Fair from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the FCCI Rotunda. Students and faculty can learn about the many study aboard programs offered through USFSM and USF. Information about the application process, deadlines and scholarships will also be available.

In addition, faculty interested in applying for Fulbright awards can contact Malkic at to attend an information session from 2 to 3 p.m.

USFSM, Booker High School debate teams to square off

With discussions about the possibility of free college education making headlines nationally, the USFSM and Booker High School debate teams have opted to tackle this controversial subject.

USF Sarasota-Manatee students to debate Hardee inmates
Fawn Ngo, Phd

The teams will square off on Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m. at Booker High. The topic of their debate: “Should higher education be free to everyone?”

Three judges will oversee the contest: the Hon. David Cohen, U.S. magistrate for the federal trial court for the district of Maine; Rachel Shelley, PhD, principal of Booker High School; and Jane Rose, PhD, dean of USFSM’s College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences.

USFSM students, staff and faculty are invited. Maria Gerber, a USF alumna and professional speech and debate coach, is coaching the USFSM team. USFSM Speech & Debate Club faculty advisor Fawn Ngo, PhD, called for strong USFSM attendance.

“Our students need your support,” she said.

In a direct appeal to faculty, she added, “There will be media coverage so please try to attend, and encourage your students to come and cheer for the USFSM team.”

Davis-Cotton presents, collaborates on workshops at Arts Schools Network conference; Holbrook awarded

ASN conference attendees learn origami

Denise Davis-Cotton, PhD, director of the Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT), was among the presenters at the recent National Arts Schools Network Conference in Jacksonville.

Karen A. Holbrook, PhD, was named recipient of the national ASN Higher Education Award

The Arts Schools Network (ASN) is a coalition of arts educators, artists and others who promote arts education nationwide. The annual conference was held Oct. 22-25.

Davis-Cotton, former president of the ASN, directed a workshop titled Nuts & Bolts that offered insights to help open and expand arts education programs.

She also collaborated on two workshops with presenters from Sarasota, the Origami Art Studio and the Circus Arts Conservatory. Through the workshops, attendees learned how origami and circus arts can strengthen students’ understanding of academic subjects like math, science and language arts.

Also during the conference, USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook, PhD, was named recipient of the Arts Schools Network (ASN) Higher Education Award. This national award recognizes higher education institutions or partnership programs in higher education that support arts education in K-12 schools.

Davis-Cotton is recognized nationally as a leader in arts education. She is the author of Losing My Mind Over Education, founder of the Detroit School of the Arts and namesake of ASN’s Denise Davis-Cotton Emerging Leader Award, given annually to rising arts schools administrators. This year’s recipient of the award was Monika Wiley, PhD, of DeKalb County, Georgia.

USF Sarasota-Manatee enjoys a night at the opera in Sarasota

USFSM students, staff and faculty attended Rigoletto last week at the Sarasota Opera House.

USF Sarasota-Manatee students, staff and faculty enjoyed a night at the opera last week at the Sarasota Opera House.

The event, several months in the planning, was meant to introduce students to opera and encourage a continued appreciation for the art form, which originated in Italy in the late 16th century. About 20 students and 10 faculty and staff members attended, receiving a discount through a special arrangement with the Sarasota Opera.

The group saw Verdi’s Rigoletto, a tragedy about the Duke of Mantua, his court jester Rigoletto and Rigoletto’s beautiful daughter, Gilda.

“A beautiful reception was put on for us by Rosanne Martorella and Melva Eidelberg (supporters of the Sarasota Opera House), who adored having students attend the opera,” said Zacharias Pieri, PhD, an assistant professor of interdisciplinary social sciences.

Govoni appointed to national council in support of the TESOL International Association

Dr. Jane Govoni
Jane Govoni, PhD

Congratulations to Jane Govoni, PhD, for her recent selection to the TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) National Standards Professional Council.

Govoni is the ESOL coordinator and a Spanish language instructor in the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences.

The TESOL National Standards Professional Council supports the TESOL International Association in advancing quality and expertise in the field of English language learning. The council advises the association on strategy and supports the implementation of strategic direction as related to TESOL standards.

Arnold completes QM Course Review

Michelle Arnold, PhD

E-Learning Services congratulates Michelle Arnold, an assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders in the College of Science & Mathematics, on the successful completion of an Internal Quality Matters Course Review for her online course, Intro to Hearing Science.

The Internal Quality Matters Course Review is a rigorous process designed to certify quality and alignment through the Quality Matters rubric of best practices for online learning.

Instructors who successfully complete the Internal Quality Matters Review can include the USFSM Quality logo on the front page of their online course description and will be acknowledged for their achievements in the Florida Virtual Campus course directory.

To learn more about Quality Matters, contact E-Learning Services.

Drone TETRA 2020 tech conference coming to USF Sarasota-Manatee

Interest in drone technology is soaring with conventions and expositions nationwide. Now, USF Sarasota-Manatee is partnering with drone experts and enthusiasts for an all-inclusive conference to explore current and future applications for drone use in educational, commercial and recreational settings.

The conference – Drone Technologies, Education, Training, Research and Applications (TETRA), or Drone TETRA 2020 – is scheduled for Feb. 21, 2020.

It will focus on drone technology’s ever-widening role in society, from recreation, agriculture and utility inspections to public safety, surveying, mapping, cinema, photography and national defense and security.

Also scheduled are a drone-flying competition and a special session to examine the science and engineering behind drones, including Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and the Internet of Things, among other emerging technologies.

For more information about Drone TETRA 2020, including conference fees, visit

Graduate Open House is scheduled for Nov. 16 at USF Sarasota-Manatee

USFSM offers a high-quality, affordable education that’s close to home.

Professionals seeking a career boost and students considering graduate school can attend USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Graduate Open House on Saturday, Nov. 16.

The 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. session will be held at USFSM’s campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Learn about graduate degree programs, the admissions process and academic life at USFSM. The session is free.

“Our Graduate Open House is an excellent opportunity for potential graduate students to speak with faculty in their program of interest, learn about the application process and visit campus,” Admissions Counselor Cassidy Garbutt said. “We encourage anyone interested in graduate study at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee to attend.”

The session is open to professionals, undergraduate students and recent college graduates.

Reserve a spot at:

Learn about USF Sarasota-Manatee at the Saturday Tour and Talk

High school students and their families can tour the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and learn about academic programs and the admissions process at the “Saturday Tour and Talk” set for Saturday, Nov. 16, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., at the USFSM campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Students and families can learn about USFSM’s more than 40 degree programs, meet staff and faculty and tour the campus, just north of downtown Sarasota. The session is free.

Also learn about admissions, tuition and financial aid, and talk with current students.

“The Tour and Talk is a great weekend option for students who are unable to visit USFSM during the week due to school and work schedules or other commitments,” Coordinator of Admissions Sean Grosso said.

Sign up for the Saturday Tour and Talk at:

Critical thinking certification workshop set Nov. 22

USF Sarasota-Manatee will offer a one-day workshop on Nov. 22 to enhance one of the most sought-after skill sets in today’s workforce: critical thinking.

The Critical Thinking Certification Workshop is set for 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room A320A at USFSM, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. It’s open to all professionals, including CEOs, business owners, managers, human resources professionals, entrepreneurs, educators and lifelong learners.

Early registration is $79 up to one week prior to registration. Regular registration is $99. The registration fee includes lunch and the Watson-Glaser assessment. Participants must bring a laptop computer or mobile device to complete the online assessment.

Visit to register. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.

“Based on my research and conversations, critical thinking is one of the most important skill sets for both the current and future workforce,” said Greg Smogard, PhD, assistant vice president of Innovation and Business Development at USFSM.

The workshop includes:

  • Session 1: Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Assessment
  • Session 2: Watson-Glaser Development Report and Personal Work Plan
  • Session 3: Critical Thinking: General Case Study and Discussion
  • Session 4: Critical Thinking: Business Case and Discussion
  • Session 5: Applying Critical Thinking to your Personal Development Plan
  • Session 6: Post Workshop Progress Report

For more information, contact Mike Gillespie at (941) 359-4228 or

USF Sarasota-Manatee hosts Career Coaching sessions for students

USF Sarasota-Manatee is inviting students to a one-on-one career coaching session featuring Marco Galante, an accomplished senior executive with a multinational background in the food and food ingredients industry.

Galante will meet with students on Nov. 20 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in room C118. Sign up at

Informative and inspiring, the session will enable students to discuss interview techniques, career plans and other topics. Galante’s motto is: “Work for a cause not applause!”

Visit Career Services for more information.

‘Let’s Talk Talent Tuesdays’ to run through semester at USFSM’s Office of Veteran Success

Lets Talk Talent is held on Tuesdays at the Office of Veteran Success.

Career Services reminds students about the new career-boosting program “Let’s Talk Talent Tuesdays.” The weekly program features a slate of guest speakers discussing career issues.

It runs from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Office of Veteran Success on the first floor of the Campus Center. Students and faculty are invited to stop by.

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