Lukas Oest

Bulls Notebook: Conference benefits international students

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: February 09, 2018

SARASOTA, Fla. (Feb. 09, 2018)USF Sarasota-Manatee business student Lukas Oest wasn’t sure what to make of the Florida International Leadership Conference (FILC) last weekend in De Leon Springs in Volusia County, but in the end the junior was glad he attended.

“I think really the highlight, in terms of what I came away with, was those things that make you different, that make you unique as an international student, those things are important,” he said. “Don’t hold back, talk about why you came to the United States, why you’re here.”

For a nation built on immigration, the U.S. can sometimes a lonely place for immigrants, even on college campuses. The FILC conference, Feb. 2-4 at Camp Winona, was intended to strengthen international relationships and foster an exchange of ideas, while improving the students’ leadership abilities through networking and training exercises.

Oest, a marketing major, was one of about 100 students from across the state to attend. Most were immigrants, like him. Oest came to the United States about five years ago from Ludwigshafen, Germany, southwest of Frankfurt. An international student, he spent a year each at Sarasota Christian School and Sarasota High School before entering college as a business major.

Now, he says, he’s so well-versed in American culture and English that he feels as much at home here as in Germany. Oest says he wants to return to next year’s FILC conference.

Mirroring the advice offered by conference organizers, he suggested that international students strengthen their language skills and participate in activities they might usually avoid.

“Get out of your comfort zone,” he said. “Get out and do some of these things, You may be in college only four years and never have this opportunity again, so while you’re here, take advantage of these events and participate in them.”

Arts-integrated learning takes spotlight this weekend

Dr. Bonnie Jones

Kudos to Dr. Bonnie Jones, Dr. W. Pat Wilson and Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton. The three will be talking this weekend about arts-integrated instruction and its benefits to learning in public schools, although at two different locations.

On Saturday, from 7:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., at Riverview High School in Sarasota, Drs. Jones and Wilson will address the Sarasota Reading Council Literacy’s Mini-Conference READ 2018.

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Dr. G. Pat Wilson

The conference is tied to Project Elevate, a professional development program for teachers. USFSM is involved by promoting arts-integrated learning to teachers at four public schools in Sarasota. On Saturday, the two will talk about the results of that training.

“I am tremendously proud to be a part of Project Elevate, which helps teachers understand the power of the arts as a learning tool,” said Dr. Wilson, an associate professor at USFSM’s School of Education.

Bulls Notebook: PAInT coordinator hailed for Detroit School of the Arts

Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton

As Dr. Jones and Dr. Wilson are making their presentations, Dr. Davis-Cotton, coordinator for the Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts-integrated Teaching (PAInT), will be in Tampa as part of a teacher development session called Arts-Integration: Theory, Impact, & Practice.

National and regional experts will share strategies, best practices and their successes in integrating the arts into the fabric of school and community life, Dr. Davis-Cotton said.

Among the panelists will be a USFSM alum, Lauren Henry. Dr. Davis-Cotton will facilitate the discussion.

The session is sponsored by the Office of PAInT and The Florida Alliance for Arts Education and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. The event will be held at the Scarfone-Hartley Gallery at the University of Tampa from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Bulls Bistro returns with new theme

The Bulls Bistro is back next week.

The popular dining program introduced a year ago has returned for the spring semester with a new theme, Cuisine of the United States.

Students and faculty from the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership will collaborate to produce three tapas-style dishes; guests can choose between two glasses of wine or two craft-style beers.

This Thursday, Feb. 15, guests will tour Manhattan and enjoy a sampling of cuisine made famous in the Big Apple. In two weeks, Feb. 22, diners will be whisked to Miami.

The Bulls Bistro runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The dining events are held at the Culinary Innovation Lab on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. Tickets are $25 each.

For more information or to register, visit

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