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

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

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: July 24, 2018

SARASOTA, Fla. (July 24, 2018) – 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.

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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 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

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.

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.

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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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