USFSM's Selby Auditorium will host the Duvall Family Studies conference on opiate abuse on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Bulls Notebook: USFSM faculty, students urged to attend critical-thinking workshops on Aug. 16

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: August 06, 2018

SARASOTA, Fla. (Aug. 6, 2018) – USF Sarasota-Manatee is encouraging faculty and students to learn about “IncrediBull Critical Thinking” at a series of workshops scheduled Thursday, Aug. 16, at the Selby Auditorium.

Bulls Notebook: USFSM faculty, students urged to attend critical-thinking workshops on Aug. 16

Dr. Michael Gillespie

“We want to have a campus culture of critical thinking that will also provide students with a competitive edge when applying for jobs or graduate school upon their graduation from USF Sarasota-Manatee,” said USFSM Faculty President Dr. Michael Gillespie, who oversees the IncrediBull Critical Thinking program.

“This workshop will give faculty the tools and resources to naturally integrate critical thinking into courses,” he said.

For more about the workshops or to reserve a spot, visit The session includes lunch.

Twenty-three classes have been designated as IncrediBull Critical Thinking (IBCT) courses in the upcoming fall semester. As part of the program, students who complete 12 credits of IBCT courses will be eligible to receive a critical-thinking certificate upon graduation to assist in job searches.

Increasingly, employers are seeking applicants with critical-thinking skills. The National Association of Colleges and Employers, through a task force of college career services and HR/staffing professionals, identified several competencies associated with career readiness.

Among those was critical thinking/problem solving: “Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.” (

The session will feature workshops by Dr. Lila Rajabion, Dr. Su Senapti, Dr. Jody McBrien, and Dr. Helene Robinson, among others. Ben Heins, coordinator of internships and service learning, will lead a special workshop at 11 a.m. aimed at both faculty and students and featuring a panel discussion with local employers.

USFSM debuted the IBCT initiative in summer 2017. Since then 570 students have participated in the program.

“Our goal is to graduate students who will be strong critical thinkers,” Dr. Gillespie, president of the USFSM Faculty Senate, said. “That’s what employers and graduate schools want, and we are trying deliver that.”

USFSM, UF sponsor ‘Biomed: Research to Reality’

Bulls Notebook: USFSM, UF sponsor ‘Biomed: Research to Reality’

The Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club will host the Aug. 8 event.

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, the University of Florida and several economic development organizations will present a special program on Aug. 8 that explores best practices for bringing advanced research to the marketplace.

Medical and technology professionals, researchers and university faculty, business owners, entrepreneurs and others will benefit from “Biomed: Research to Reality.” Two identical presentations will take place at the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, 7650 Legacy Blvd., the first a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and then an evening reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Dr. Christopher Passaglia, a professor of chemical and biomedical engineering at the University of South Florida, and Dr. Christine E. Schmidt, chair of the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida, are the featured presenters.

Bulls Notebook: USFSM graduation scheduled today

Dr. Karen Holbrook

Dr. Karen Holbrook, regional chancellor at USF Sarasota-Manatee, and members of the USFSM senior leadership team will be on hand to engage with organizations, business owners and members of the public about potential partnerships.

“We are excited to be collaborating with our colleagues at USF in Tampa and the University of Florida to bring this special presentation to our community. “Our featured speakers both have experience taking an idea from concept to prototype to the commercial marketplace. They will be sharing practical advice, pitfalls to avoid, and hopefully inspire others to great success in their work.”

Dr. Passaglia will discuss his research path to conceive, design and fabricate a unique device for the study and treatment of glaucoma and other pressure-dependent medical disorders. The professor will also highlight the innovative research of his biomedical colleagues at the University of South Florida.

Dr. Schmidt will discuss her biomedical medicine and research findings at the University of Florida. She’ll also outline the business side of creating, launching and funding a biomed product in today’s marketplace.

The cost of each session is $25. Both are scheduled for Aug. 8. To register for the luncheon, which includes a plated lunch, visit

For the reception, which comes with a cash bar, visit

Graduate students from Spain visit USFSM, Dr. Ngo

Bulls Notebook: USFSM faculty, students urged to attend critical-thinking workshops on Aug. 16

Graduate students Victoria Fernandez, left, and Aina Gasso, right, are conducting research with Dr. Fawn Ngo, center.

USF Sarasota-Manatee is proud to welcome two graduate students from the International University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain.

The students, PhD candidates, Victoria Fernandez, 26, and Aina Gasso, 24, are conducting research with Dr. Fawn Ngo, an associate professor of criminology in the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences.

“The campus is beautiful. It’s very green here, very picturesque,” said Gasso, who’s conducting research into sexting and mental health.

Fernandez’s research focuses on stalking, which was criminalized in Spain in recent years. Both students are conducting research as part of their doctoral dissertations. They arrived at USFSM two weeks ago and will remain until Aug. 29.

Their faculty advisor at the International University of Catalonia, Dr. Jose Agustina, a professor of criminal justice, recommended the students work with Dr. Ngo, who has studied both stalking and sexting. They’ll compare data from their studies with data collected by Dr. Ngo. She’ll also help them with analysis and interpretation of the data.

“This is a great opportunity for us to work with Dr. Ngo,” Fernandez said.

USFSM regional chancellor addresses leadership conference

USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Dr. Karen Holbrook was the keynote speaker at a recent conference that focused on strategic management for international education leaders.

Her lecture, “The Global Research Imperative: Opportunities and Challenges,” occurred during the conference’s first day and addressed the importance of collaboration among researchers in the face of challenges brought by globalization, including to governments, businesses, civil society and the environment.

Bulls Notebook: USFSM graduation scheduled today

Dr. Karen Holbrook

“We have to work together. That is the key to preventing crises and making the world more resilient for current and future generations,” Dr. Holbrook told conference attendees. “Just as global risks are increasingly complex, systemic and cascading, so our responses must be increasingly interconnected across the numerous global systems that make up our world.”

Entitled “Maintaining Our Bridges, Sustaining Our Global Ties,” the July conference was held at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and sponsored by the 2018 Intensive International Education Institute, which is comprised of education leaders and formed to explore creative ways to strengthen international ties while mitigating and managing risks to mobility.

The 2018 Intensive International Education Institute is an arm of the SAIL Institute (Strategic, Academic, Innovative Leadership), which is grounded in the concept that colleges and universities need leaders who are strategic and innovative as well as have a firm understanding of the special nature of the academic core of the institutions that they serve. Through its programs, services and analysis, the SAIL Institute seeks to advance understanding and development of the next generation of leaders in higher education. The SAIL Institute is based at the University of Albany, State University of New York.

Along with Dr. Kiki Caruson, assistant vice president of research, innovation and global affairs at USF, Dr. Holbrook is the co-author of the book, “Globalizing University Research: Innovation, Collaboration and Competition.”

Much of her discussion at the conference focused on the book’s findings, which explore the current climate of global cooperation as well as the importance of promoting research across borders – particularly by universities – and the challenges that can arise from it, from preserving funding streams to ensuring high research standards.

Despite those challenges, opportunities for collaborative international research abound and they are not limited to professors and education leaders, Dr. Holbrook said. They extend to students with opportunities tailored to college and high school students. Further opportunities exist to collaborate with business, industry and governments on local, regional and national levels.

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.”

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.

USF Sarasota-Manatee fair to ‘turn the tables’ on internships

Ben Heins

“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

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.

USFSM hires regional vice chancellor to lead fundraising

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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