USFSM's Career Services Office is taking a new approach to job fairs.

Bulls Notebook: USFSM career fair to ‘turn the tables’

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: July 17, 2018

SARASOTA, Fla. (July 17, 2018) – USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Career Services Office is proposing a unique way to match students and employers – a “reverse career fair.”

Unlike regular career fairs, “reverse” fairs put students in control by having them conduct interviews with potential employers. The technique provides insight into jobs and internships students wouldn’t otherwise get 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 Sept. 7 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.

Students can learn more by sending their resumes to Heins at or by visiting

USFSM grads, students attend women’s conference

USF Sarasota-Manatee students left the recent National Conference for College Women Student Leaders feeling empowered and more inspired to serve in leadership roles.

Bulls Notebook: USFSM career fair to ‘turn the tables’

Tiffany Williams

Tiffany Williams and Gabriela Macias, recent graduates of USFSM’s College of Business, attended the May 30-June 2 conference at the University of Maryland in College Park with two USFSM students, Madison Duelge and Laura Serbin, as well as Dr. Jane Rose, dean of USFSM’s College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences.

The group say the conference inspired them to take on leadership positions and stand up for women’s causes. They were especially moved after hearing keynote speakers Vlora Çitaku, the Kosovo ambassador to the United States, and Me Too movement founder Tarana Burke.

“I felt like I could be more of a leader and do what I wanted to do if I put my mind to it,” said Williams, who graduated in May and is finishing a summer internship at accounting firm CS&L CPAs in Bradenton. “I liked the ambassador from Kosovo, what she said about growing up and what she went through during the war.”

Çitaku, appointed ambassador in 2015, was made a refugee in 1998 after war erupted until her return to Kosovo in 1999. Politically active, she went on to serve two terms in the Kosovo Assembly and in several diplomatic positions.

Burke’s story about founding the Me Too movement also encouraged the women.

“She was amazing. She was inspired to speak out, and now there’s this national movement,” said Macias, who is currently working at CPA firm Kerkering Barberio & Co. in Sarasota and pursuing a master’s degree in accounting at USF St. Petersburg.

“All of us have a voice, and we just have to make our voices known,” said Macias. “If something needs to be brought to the attention of others, then we need to do something about it. It was empowering.”

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Dr. Jane Rose

The National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) is an annual event sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Hundreds of women from colleges and universities nationwide attend yearly.

Williams, former president of the AAUW’s student chapter at USFSM, said she was so inspired by last year’s event that she decided to go again.

Duelge, a senior psychology student, succeeded Williams as president. Serbin, a senior in interdisciplinary social sciences, serves as the chapter’s vice president. Dr. Rose said she was confident Duelge and Serbin would build upon their experiences at the conference to inspire their fellow chapter members.

“It was quite a gift for me, as their club advisor, to be able to share the inspirational and transformative summer experience of the NCCWSL with these students,” she said.

USFSM Staff Council seeking secretary

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Staff Council is seeking applicants for the secretary’s position after the recent promotion of Jessica Szempruch.

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Jessica Szempruch

To nominate candidates for that position, or to apply yourself, contact Amber Lee at The deadline to apply is midnight July 20.

The council secretary is responsible for the recording and publication of meeting minutes, maintaining official minute records and distributing all minutes at least two weeks after executive board and council meetings.

The council’s next meeting is scheduled for July 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. in room A203A.

For more about the council, write to or

Benefit set for fermentation lab

USF Sarasota-Manatee is planning a fundraiser on Saturday, July 28, from 5 to 10 p.m., to benefit the USFSM Core Fermentation Lab & Innovation Incubator at Big Top Brewing Co.

Experience beer analysis demonstrations with professional instrumentation provided by Thermo Fisher Scientific. The benefit will be held at the brewing company, 6111 Porter Way, Sarasota.

Funds raised will defray costs to construct the lab, which will enable hospitality students to engage with brewers, chefs, scientists and industry experts.

Brunch on the Bay tickets, sponsorships available

USFSM’s Brunch on the Bay a success as hundreds turn out for event

Brunch on the Bay is set for Nov. 4.

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.

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Lee Williams

“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.”

Lauren Henry

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 or call Pam Gleason at (941) 359-4603.

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