Christella Jasmin, Lyne Daphney Duperrier, Marie Byrd, PhD, and Jane Rose, PhD, show their Bulls pride at the opening of the Janie’s Garden after-school program.

Bulls Notebook: USFSM, United Way Suncoast & Better Tomorrows launch after-school program

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: October 02, 2019

Bulls Notebook LogoThe University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee this week debuted an after-school program for 30 children at the Janie’s Garden apartment complex in Sarasota.

Named for longtime Sarasota educators Earl and Mary Watts, the program will provide homework and reading support, social and emotional skills training and character building for children ages 5 to 12 at the community at 2300 Central Ave., Sarasota.

“It feels rewarding, but I also realize that it’s just the beginning,” said Marie Byrd, PhD, director of the School of Education, who will oversee the program.

Bulls Notebook: USFSM senior accepted into honors program

    Maria Byrd, PhD

Byrd and officials from USFSM, United Way Suncoast and Better Tomorrows attended a grand opening ceremony at the apartment community on Monday. The program is result of a partnership among the entities.

United Way Suncoast provided a grant for Byrd to develop and operate the program. In addition, USFSM will hire six tutor-mentors to provide instruction. The program will operate from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

USFSM student Christella Jasmin, ’19, called the program “close to my heart.”

“I figured that working here was the best way to give back to the community for everything that they’ve done for me,” she said. “Being able to give students an opportunity that I was not afforded when I was younger, it feels great. It’s something I would do regardless if I were getting paid or not. Working to better society benefits everyone.”

Fellow student Lyne Daphney Duperrier, ’20, agreed and said she also hopes to build upon the experience. Duperrier is from Haiti.

“The plan that I have is to go back to Haiti and run the family business,” she said. “I also want to open a school. I think it’s a great opportunity to start here helping out other kids, so when I go back to Haiti it’ll be good for me to have this experience.”

The program is housed at the Janie’s Garden Clubhouse, which consists of a large central room, a kitchen/break room, bathrooms and two additional rooms for tutoring and other instruction.

In addition to academics, the program will emphasize character building and social and emotional skills training.

“I look forward to working with the children and to see some of the positive benefits of social and emotional learning, along with the reading and tutoring as they progress through the school year,” Byrd said. “Our goal is to determine if this program has a positive impact on their academic achievement in school, and that would be the best gift ever when it occurs.”

USF Homecoming to kick off next week

    Students and goats bond at last fall’s goat yoga event.

Goat yoga anyone? Homecoming kicks off next week with fun activities across USF’s three campuses. Look for goat yoga, a lip sync battle and dodgeball to take center stage at USFSM before the Bulls take on the BYU Cougars on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 3:30 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.

Here’s a breakdown of USFSM’s Homecoming events:

  • Monday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., food and drinks, crafts and the crowning of Homecoming Royalty at the FCCI Rotunda.
  • Tuesday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., lip sync battle, food and drinks, Selby Auditorium.
  • Wednesday, from noon to 4 p.m., Clash of the Classes with contests in dodgeball, tug of war and other events, FCCI Rotunda.
  • Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tailgate DIY Fair with Bulls-themed crafts, FCCI Rotunda.
  • Saturday, TBD, a bus will leave USFSM for the USF vs. BYU football game. Fifty spots available. RSVP at Bullsync@USFSM.

Transfer student admissions deadline Nov. 1

Transfer students seeking admission to USF Sarasota-Manatee for the spring 2020 semester must apply by Nov. 1 and complete their application for admission by Nov. 15.

Transfer students can apply in three easy steps:

  • Submit an online application at
  • Submit a $30 application fee
  • Submit your college transcript

Applicants with less than 60 transferrable credits must take two additional steps:

  • Submit your high school transcript
  • Submit your official SAT/ACT scores

For questions, visit

Grad Stampede set for Oct. 22

USF Sarasota-Manatee celebrates its 70th commencement

    USFSM’s Fall 2019 Commencement is set for Dec. 16, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.

Seniors expecting to graduate in December can order their cap and gown, reserve class rings and sign up for free USF Alumni Association memberships during Grad Stampede, scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 22, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the FCCI Rotunda.

The twice-yearly event helps upcoming grads get a jump on commencement.

Get information about discounted hotel rooms for guests. Career Services will offer free headshot photos for Handshake and LinkedIn, and students can vote for Outstanding Professor. Note: graduation gowns ordered ahead of time through the bookstore may be picked up at the Stampede.

Bank of America Brunch on the Bay tickets on sale now

    This year’s Brunch on the Bay is set for Nov. 3. Call (941) 359-4603 for tickets.

Sponsorships and individual tickets are now available for Bank of America Brunch on the Bay, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s signature fundraising event for student scholarships.

This year’s Brunch is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the USFSM campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

USFSM hires regional vice chancellor to lead fundraising

    Lee Williams

According to Lee Williams, regional vice chancellor for advancement and alumni engagement at USF Sarasota-Manatee, “The organizing committee has developed sponsorship packages based on the annual cost of tuition at USFSM. For example, a $5,000 sponsorship covers the majority of tuition expenses for one year, and that level of sponsorship corresponds to a table of eight at Brunch, plus considerable recognition and exposure through the event.”

Sponsorship levels range from $2,500 for a half table to $25,000, which covers slightly more than four years of tuition and includes two VIP tables. For tickets or more information, visit or call (941) 359-4603.

Since its inception 26 years ago, Brunch has provided more than 1,800 scholarships to USFSM students, most of whom from Sarasota and Manatee counties. This year’s Brunch co-chairs are alumni Lauren Henry and Pete Petersen.

Brunch showcases USFSM’s role as a local university that provides a preeminent, affordable education for students who become valued members of the workforce and vibrant contributors to the Sarasota-Manatee community.

Honors Program to hold ‘Scholar’s Evening’ on Friday

Stewart Carrier-Murillo

The USF Sarasota-Manatee Honors Program will host a Scholar’s Evening on Friday, Oct. 4, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Selby Auditorium.

Invitations were sent recently to students with a 3.3+ GPA and the appropriate number of credits to attend the event to learn about USFSM’s Honor’s Program and annual Student Research Symposium.

Keynote Speaker and Honors Graduate Stewart Carrier-Murillo, ’16, will discuss his undergraduate research and graduate school experiences.

Carrier-Murillo was the 2016 Outstanding History Major and recipient of the Golden Bull Award. He was accepted into NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study Master of Arts Program with full tuition assistance from NYU’s Office of Student Life.

Kathy Black interviewed by Chinese news program

    Kathy Black, PhD, recently spoke with a Chinese news program.

Kathy Black, PhD, professor of aging studies, is drawing an ever-growing audience with her research into age-friendly best practices, trends and communities.

In recent years, she has addressed the World Health Organization in Geneva and spoken with media in Canada, France and the U.S. about the topic.

Now she’s becoming known to Chinese audiences thanks to a CGTN news team who interviewed her in Sarasota last week.

Black was interviewed for about 10 minutes about the economic and social costs of dementia. She spoke about intervention efforts to promote brain health and how communities worldwide are responding to aging populations, as well as the need to help caregivers.

The interview was broadcast live from a studio in Sarasota. She spoke remotely to CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo.

“Interest in age-related issues isn’t limited to just the U.S. and Europe,” she said. “Societies across the world are eager to learn how best to help aging populations, including in China.”

USFSM, Gamma Xi Boulé hold leadership talk at Booker High

    Left to right are: USFSM Coordinator of Student Services Darren Gambrell; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Corey Posey; USFSM student and President of the Latin American Student Association Scarleth Andino; Veteran Services Administrator Carlos Moreira and speaker series Coordinator Carl Battle of Gamma Xi Boulé.

USFSM last week kicked off its annual participation in the Booker High School Speaker Series sponsored by the Gamma Xi Boulé Foundation.

Affiliated with the Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, Gamma Xi Boulé is dedicated to promoting educational excellence and providing development programs for underserved youth in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Each year, USFSM and Gamma Xi Boule lead a discussion series on college and career readiness with Booker freshman students.

USFSM’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion coordinates the participation of campus personnel. Last week’s presentation by USFSM staff and students focused on “Leadership & Confidence.”

Stucker nominated for Manatee Young Professional Award

Kudos to Bart Stucker, coordinator of orientation and recreation programs at the Office of Student Engagement, for his nomination for a Manatee Chamber of Commerce Young Professional MVP Award.

    Bart Stucker

Stucker recently learned about the nomination from Kim Mones, director of the Office of Student Engagement.

“To say I was more than a bit surprised is an understatement,” he said.

The Manatee Young Professional Award recognizes professional excellence, leadership and advocacy, which matches Stucker’s history and qualifications. He was among two dozen nominees.

“Throughout the short time I’ve lived in the area, I’ve had individuals recommend me for opportunities to serve our community in a variety of capacities, and I have been happy to give back,” he said. “A special thank-you goes out to those individuals who believed I would make a great fit in a particular volunteer role. Through these experiences I have noticed how tight-knit a community we truly have in Manatee County.”

Stucker has been involved with UnidosNow, United Way Suncoast, the Bradenton Marauders and local organizations that address food and housing insecurity. He also worked with Ben Heins, coordinator of internships and service learning, to organize USFSM’s first Turn the Tables Reverse Career Fair last year.

“I am actually unsure as to who nominated me for the award, but whoever you are, thank you for recognizing the energy and effort that I place on improving our community in some way,” he said.

An awards banquet is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at PIER 22 Restaurant, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton.

USFSM grad is new press secretary for local congressman

    Chloe Conboy, with former anchor Don Brennan, at WWSB

USF Sarasota-Manatee graduate Chloe Conboy, ’17, is finding success in politics. The professional and technical communication graduate was recently named press secretary to Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota.

She will start her new job early this month, working at the congressman’s Washington, D.C., offices. She previously worked as a field representative in Buchanan’s district office in Sarasota.

According to a press release, Conboy said she is “excited and eager” to begin her new assignment.

“To become the press secretary for my hometown congressman is truly an honor,” she said.

Buchanan called Conboy “a remarkably talented individual who understands our region and is dedicated to public service.”

Born and raised in Bradenton, Conboy worked at WWSB (ABC 7) in Sarasota as a digital content producer, managing the station’s website as well as its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. She also made appearances in front of the camera on ABC 7 News at 7 and the Suncoast View.

Conboy’s grandfather, Anthony J. Conboy, was a long-time sports columnist for The Bradenton Herald.

She replaces Anthony Cruz, who is now working for the White House communications office.

USFSM to hold ‘Freshman Preview’ for future students

High school seniors and their families can get an insider’s look at college life at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s “Freshman Preview” on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The half-day session will offer a detailed review of programs and activities at the USFSM, which offers a high-quality, affordable education close to home.

Bulls Notebook: USF Sarasota-Manatee offers ‘Classroom & Career Days’

Brandon Avery

Attendees will meet current students, faculty, staff and admissions advisors and tour classrooms, the campus café, Selby Auditorium and other facilities.

“We are excited to show all of the opportunities Sarasota-Manatee students will have as part of a united USF,” Associate Director of Admissions Brandon Avery said. “We will be showcasing new paths to degrees, an increased degree value, and walking students through the application process. I think families will leave informed and pleasantly surprised by what we have to offer.”

The event is free and open to students who have applied to USFSM or are thinking about applying. Come out and meet your future classmates and learn about what it means to be part of the USFSM family. Visit to reserve your spot at the Freshman Preview.

For questions or more information, contact or call (941) 359-4331.

Self-defense class offered for students, alumni and others

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is partnering with New College of Florida to hold a free self-defense class for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The class is scheduled Oct. 22, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at New College’s fitness center, 5639 General Twinning Blvd., Sarasota.

Register for the class no later than Oct. 18. Visit

The class will include training in:

  • Situational awareness
  • Safety tips
  • Crime prevention methods
  • De-escalation techniques

Participants are required to wear T-shirts or long-sleeve shirts, shorts or warm-up pants and sneakers. Do not wear any jewelry.

The class is sponsored the Campus Police Department serving USF Sarasota-Manatee and New College.

Apply for nursing degree program by Friday

    Friday is the deadline for applications to the Spring 2020 nursing program.

The USF College of Nursing is accepting applications through Friday for admission into the first cohort of the Accelerated Second Degree (ASD) nursing program at USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The first cohort will begin classes at USFSM in January.

The second degree nursing program, offered by the USF College of Nursing and hosted at USFSM, is an affordable option for college graduates looking to switch gears and obtain a high-quality bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Through the ASD nursing program, students can obtain a degree within four semesters, including one summer term, and complete all coursework, together with clinical training, at USFSM’s campus and at hospitals in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Learn more about the program and how to apply by visiting

USFSM grant-writing workshop to benefit faculty research

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Office of Research is holding grant-writing workshops on Friday, Oct. 4, and Friday, Oct. 11, to support faculty research. Both sessions are set for 10 a.m. to noon in Room A217.

The first workshop is entitled “Contracts and Research Agreements. The second is called “Writing Competitive Grants.”

The sessions are designed to provide helpful resources and teach advanced skills to prepare faculty members to make strong and competitive proposals.

Visit for more information.

USFSM professors support musical performance, fundraiser

USF Sarasota-Manatee professors, Sunita Lodwig, PhD, and Bhuvan Unhelkar, PhD, are helping to raise awareness about a special fundraising event featuring world-renowned musicians Pandit Shubhendra Rao on the Indian cello and Saskia Rao-De Haas on the traditional western cello.

    Sunita Lodwig, PhD

Their performance, “East Marries West,” featured at festivals and concert halls worldwide, is scheduled for Friday at the Sarasota Opera House. Proceeds support the Sarasota Sunrise Rotary Club’s beach wheelchair project.

Visit for tickets.

Lodwig and Unhelkar are members of the Rotary Club and teach information technology in the College of Business.

Bhuvan Unhelkar, PhD

“Given that Sarasota is home to many disabled veterans and others who are mobility challenged, it is essential that we provide the means for them to enjoy our famous beaches,” Lodwig said.

Rao and De Haas are renowned for their collaboration and have performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and other popular venues. They are creators of Sangeet4All, the first Indian music curriculum for young learners.

Visit to view a performance by the two musicians.

USFSM hosts Career Coaching sessions for students

USF Sarasota-Manatee is inviting students to one-on-one Career Coaching sessions featuring renowned business and community leaders. The sessions, held in room C118, will run throughout the semester.

Students can sign up at

Informative and inspiring, the coaching sessions enable students to meet individually with industry experts to discuss topics from effective résumé writing and interview techniques to communication skills and long-term career plans.

The coaches include:

  • Marco Galante, an accomplished senior executive with a multinational background in the food and food ingredients industry. His motto: “Work for a cause not applause!” Galante will meet with students from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 23, Nov. 6 and Nov. 20.
  • Jeannine Abele, a noted senior executive in the consumer products and industrial business sectors. With more than 30 years of executive leadership experience, Abele has led global IT organizations with a focus on supply chain, marketing and sales and service. Her motto is “Make a difference every day!” She will be available from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 2, Oct. 16, Oct. 30 and Nov. 13.
  • Ann King, a talented IT industry veteran with extensive knowledge of sales and marketing and consulting. King worked in executive positions at software and hardware companies for more than 35 years. Her motto: “Think!” She will be on hand to talk with students from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 3 and Oct. 17
  • Bonnie Johnson, a retired senior sales/marketing executive in the information technology industry. Johnson has more than 25 years of experience in key executive positions focused on information technology and clinical consulting. Johnson’s motto is: “Make your job a reality!” She will be available from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 10, Oct. 24 and Nov. 17.

In addition, Career Services will host special sessions on Oct. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m., and Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to noon, to provide further information to students seeking career and internship advice.

Visit Career Services for more information.

‘Let’s Talk Talent Tuesdays’ to run through semester

    Lets Talk Talent Tuesdays is held at the Military and Veterans Success Center.

Career Services reminds students about the new career-boosting program “Let’s Talk Talent Tuesdays.”

The weekly program, which debuted this week and features a slate of guest speakers discussing career issues, runs from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Military and Veterans Success Center on the first floor of the Campus Center. Students and faculty are invited to stop by.

Topics and speakers include:

  • Oct. 15: “Professionalism and Social Media,” with Kayla Cramer of Enterprise Holdings
  • Oct. 29: “Networking for Success,” with Patrice Say and Camille Mars of FCCI Insurance Group
  • Nov. 12: “Interview Techniques,” with Zolia Hernandez, Matt Real and Peter Bryant of Bank of America

Students can win a gift card by registering with Handshake

    Join Handshake and become eligible for a gift card.

Students can win a $25 Amazon gift card by signing up with Handshake, the career and internship posting site that specializes in college students. Every Fortune 500 company recruits on Handshake.

Complete your Handshake profile by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, and become eligible for a gift card. Three winners will be chosen.

Provide the following to complete your profile:

  • A short bio
  • Three skills
  • Education experience
  • Work experience
  • Showcase three courses you have taken

Join Handshake at

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