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

Bulls Notebook: Cubs’ mental skills coach to lead off USFSM lecture series

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: January 12, 2018

SARASOTA, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2018)USF Sarasota-Manatee is proud to welcome Josh Lifrak, director of the Chicago Cubs Mental Skills program, to the debut of its Career Success lecture series on Thursday, Jan. 25, from noon to 1 p.m., at the Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Lifrak, who has led the Cubs’ mental skills program for three years, helps players reach their potential – as athletes and people – by helping them realize and overcome mental obstacles. His talk is the first in a series of speaking events highlighting USFSM’s Career Success program.

Josh Lifrak

“Josh’s advice is applicable to nearly anyone, including students,” said Katherine Ceaser, assistant director for career advising in the academic and student affairs office. “He helps people perform at their highest level, whether on the job or in life. His talk should be inspiring as well as informative.”

Prior to joining the Cubs, Lifrak worked for nine years as the senior mental conditioning consultant at IMG Academy in Bradenton, where he developed mental skills programs for hundreds of athletes, including MLB players and NBA and NFL draft picks. He’s also worked with football programs at the University of Alabama and Florida State.

Lifrak earned a BA in sociology from University of Rhode Island and a masters in exercise science with a concentration in sports psychology from Ithaca College.

The event is free and open to the public. Register online by Jan. 24 to attend. Visit

USFSM welcomes several new employees

Lindsey Stevens

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Office of Advancement has added another new member: Lindsey Stevens joined the team Jan. 2 as a director of development. She’s just one of several new hires at USFSM.

“I am so excited, honored and proud to be a part of USFSM family and community and to help advance the campus’ mission and goals,” she said.

Stevens, who joined advancement following Paul Bova’s addition in December, comes to USFSM from the University of Florida where she served as director of development and external affairs at UF’s College of Public Health and Health Professions. Before that, she worked as assistant director of development and alumni affairs at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. In these roles, she:

  • Raised $4.6 million for the University of Florida’s College of Public Health and Health Professions;
  • Oversaw strategic alumni engagement opportunities to deepen the connection between graduates and the university’s colleges of Public Health and Health Professions and Journalism and Communications;
  • Served as founding board member and past president of the Titletown Gator Club.

“The most rewarding part of working in development is the people, their stories, and helping them achieve something so meaningful to them,” she said.  “Being a part of the entire development process from the first meeting to seeing the gift come to flourish is absolutely amazing. Whether it is a scholarship being awarded to a student or the launch of a new center or program, to be a part of the process and to know that these gifts are making a difference is so gratifying.”

Stevens is only the latest addition to USFSM. Also joining the campus recently are Aimée Irlanda-Colón as the office manager for Student Services; Alexandra Werth as a career program specialist for Career Services and JoAnn Stolarski as the interim tutoring services coordinator until Dr. Su Senapati returns from her professional development leave.

Stolarkski will tutor accounting and statistics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and has worked as a tutor at USFSM since fall 2015.

Irlanda-Colón served as the office manager for former Resident Commissioner Pedro R. Pierluisi at his district office in Puerto Rico. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international hospitality management for events and convention planning at the Universidad del Este, Ana G. Méndez System, in Puerto Rico.

Werth earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and hospitality tourism management from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. While attending school, she interned with the communications, events and marketing teams at Walt Disney World and Choice International Hotels.

USFSM sets open house for transfer students

USF Sarasota-Manatee will hold a Transfer Tuesday open house for transfer students on Tuesday, Jan. 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the State College of Florida, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton.

USFSM representatives will be at SCF to provide information about the transfer process to our campus.

Even SCF students who have visited our campus in the past can stop by to learn more about our entry requirements, academic programs and many scholarship opportunities to help create a smooth transfer to USFSM. Refreshments will be provided.

To register for Transfer Tuesday, visit

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