USFSM will host a forum for state House and Senate candidates.

Bulls Notebook: USFSM to host candidate forum Saturday

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: October 15, 2018

SARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 15, 2018) – The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee has scheduled a candidate forum on Saturday, Oct. 20, for state House and Senate candidates seeking to represent Sarasota and Manatee counties.

The forum, set from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., will take place at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

The Institute for Public Policy and Leadership at USF Sarasota-Manatee is partnering with the Observer Media Group and Manatee Educational Television to present the forum, which is free and open to the public.

The forums for each race are scheduled to begin at the following times with the below candidates invited to participate:

  • 11 a.m. State Representative, District 71: Tracy Pratt (Dem.) and Will Robinson (Rep.)
  • 11:45 a.m. State Representative, District 72: Margaret Good (Dem.) and Ray Pilon (Rep.)
  • 12:30 p.m. State Representative, District 73: Liv Coleman (Dem.) and Tommy Gregory (Rep.)
  • 1:15 p.m. State Representative, District 74: James Buchanan (Rep.), Robert Kaplan (Ind.) and Tony Mowry (Dem.)
  • 1:50 p.m. State Senate, District 23: Olivia Babis (Dem.) and Joe Gruters (Rep.)

For more information, email

USFSM students, faculty volunteer culinary skills

USFSM Culinary Innovation Lab

USFSM faculty and students are volunteering their culinary skills to support breast cancer research.

How does an elegant dinner for six prepared in your own home by a master chef sound?

Sounds delicious. And thanks to USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, it could become a reality.

Faculty and students from the college have volunteered to support this year’s Rosedale Play for P.I.N.K. event in support of breast cancer research. As part of a silent auction fundraiser Tuesday at the Rosedale Golf & Country Club, 5100 87th St., E., Bradenton, USFSM faculty and students will donate their culinary talents to the winning bidder.

The winner will provide food; the CHTL will provide the rest. The host can invite six to eight guests.

The community room will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday to view and bid on auction items and baskets. To learn more, visit

USFSM Homecoming kicks off this week

Bulls Notebook: USFSM to host candidate forum

The annual balloon drop is a Homecoming tradition at USFSM.

Homecoming kicks off today at 3 p.m. at the FCCI Rotunda with the naming of USFSM’s Homecoming King and Queen. Also on tap, free cupcakes, a balloon drop and prizes.

Also ahead:

  • Tuesday, 6 p.m., Lip-Sync Battle, Selby Auditorium
  • Wednesday, 6 p.m., DIY Craft Day, the FCCI Rotunda
  • Wednesday, 6 p.m., Water Goblet Painting, USFSM Café
  • Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Escape Room, USFSM Courtyard
  • Thursday, 7 p.m., Rae Sremmurd concert, USF Sun Dome. Visit
  • Friday, 6 p.m., Incredibles 2, Selby Auditorium.
  • Friday, 7 p.m., Running of the Bulls Parade, USF in Tampa.
  • Saturday, 7 p.m., USF Bulls vs. UConn Huskies, Raymond James Stadium. Free rides at OrgSync. Game tickets at

USFSM to host ‘eco-innovation’ seminar

USF Sarasota-Manatee this week will host a free seminar on the future of eco-innovation, which advocates environmentally-friendly business models and technologies.

The seminar, by the Cross-College Alliance, is scheduled Thursday, 3 to 6 p.m., at USFSM’s Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The event is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Seminar speakers include Dr. Joel Thompson of Eckerd College and Dr. Sally Chambers of Selby Gardens.

The event is organized in partnership with State College of Florida by Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton, coordinator of the Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInT), a statewide center at USFSM; and by Dr. Ehsan Sheybani and Dr. Giti Javidi, both from USFSM’s College of Business. The Andrew Mellon Foundation and New College of Florida are sponsoring the seminar.

To register, visit

Students, alumni invited to academic conference

USF Sarasota-Manatee student sings anthem before Heat game

Dr. Anthony Coy

Eight USFSM students and recent graduates have been invited to display their research posters at the upcoming conference of the Southeastern Society of Social Psychologists.

“I love this bit of research, and to know that I can present (my posters) at a regional conference is exciting and humbling,” said psychology major Samantha Boddy, who learned last month in an email that two of her posters had made the cut.

Boddy and the others – Jessica Cothron, Julia Smirnov (alum), Tiffany Petre-Zampol, Megan Canavarros, Carlos Santos (alum), Ishan Kulkarni and Carolyn Herrera – will travel to the conference Friday and Saturday in Raleigh, N.C., with psychology professors Dr. Anthony Coy and Dr. Jay L. Michaels.

One of Boddy’s posters was deemed a finalist for the Student Poster Award recognizing undergraduate research.

“Psychological research is what I want to do with my life, so it’s a validating reinforcement to even be considered for an award,” she said.

Dr. Michaels said the students’ posters will be on display Tuesday from 1 to 2:45 p.m. at USFSM’s second-floor mini-rotunda.

USF Sarasota-Manatee student sings anthem before Heat game

Dr. Jay Michaels

“I’m immensely proud of all of these students’ accomplishments and their motivation for research,” Dr. Michaels said. “They each have developed a stronger understanding of the research process and advanced statistical reporting.

“These projects will serve as a foundation for their future work, as many of these students will be developing presentations for the USFSM Showcase for Projects, Research and Innovation,” he said. “These students’ achievement in having their projects peer-reviewed and accepted for presentation at a major regional psychology conference attests to the unique experiences USFSM students have access to for our being such a small campus.”

Book examines anti-Catholic bias in America

Bulls Notebook: USFSM to host candidate forum Saturday

Dr. Cassandra Yacovazzi

Kudos to Dr. Cassandra Yacovazzi, a visiting assistant professor of history, for the publication of her book Escaped Nuns: True Womanhood and the Campaign against Convents in Antebellum America (Oxford University Press).

Dr. Yacovazzi said she wrote the book after exploring anti-Catholic bias in 19th Century America and finding several references to Maria Monk, a self-described escaped nun and the listed author of Awful Disclosures of Hotel Dieu.

Monk’s convent exposé of 1836 was a huge success, selling more than 300,000 copies before the Civil War, but Monk was a fraud, having never lived in a convent as a nun or otherwise.

“I wanted to know more about why this book was so popular, what it revealed about anti-Catholic bias, what debates the book sparked, and who the real Maria Monk was,” Yacovazzi said.

Researching further, she found dozens of escaped nun books and learned of various convent attacks and denunciations of convent life littered throughout anti-Catholic materials.

“The campaign against convents in antebellum America was a far-reaching movement, as popular as abolitionism, the common school movement, urban reform and anti-Mormonism,” Yacovazzi said. “While anti-Catholic and nativist impulses propelled this campaign in part, nuns’ nonconformity to female gender norms of true womanhood — their rejection of marriage, motherhood and ideals of domesticity — rendered them conspicuous targets of attack among the vanguards of accepted behavior.”

Discounted Brunch on the Bay faculty, staff tickets available

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

Brunch on the Bay is set for Sunday, Nov. 4.

Discounted tickets are now available for USF Sarasota-Manatee faculty and staff for the 25th annual Brunch on the Bay celebration, scheduled Sunday, Nov. 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Current USFSM faculty and staff may purchase up to two discounted tickets at the special rate of $100 per ticket at this website.  Proceeds from the event, which is considered one of the premiere social events of the season in the Sarasota-Manatee area, have funded student scholarships since 1994. Brunch on the Bay attendees have given graciously to fund scholarships for students while also savoring brunch fare from the finest 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.

“More than 1,700 scholarships have been awarded from Brunch on the Bay proceeds, most of which were given to local students, and we’re thrilled to continue this significant tradition — with a few twists for 2018,” Vice Chancellor for Advancement Lee Williams said. “We have added a Brunch on the Bay Honorary Committee, in addition to the Organizing Committee, and both groups are working hard to make this the best Brunch ever!”

“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.”

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