Three awardees to be recognized at USF Sarasota-Manatee Commencement on May 6

On Sunday, May 6, 2012, two students and one professor will be recognized during the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s (USFSM) Commencement ceremony at the Manatee Convention Center for outstanding achievements.

Kate Shackelford, a senior graduating with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, has been selected to receive the Golden Bull Service and Outstanding Leadership Award, presented by USFSM’s Student Government Association.  As President of the PRIDE (Promoting, Recruiting, Increasing Diverse Educators) Club on campus, Kate played an active and hands-on roll in her education.  She held internships at both Ballard Elementary School and Rogers Garden Elementary School during her time as a student and hopes to obtain full time employment locally now that she has graduated.  As a result of Kate’s leadership, PRIDE has volunteered at events like the Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival and organized a Homecoming Dress Drive with Southeast High School to allow students to have access to dresses for school dances.  Kate also works part-time by giving private horse riding lessons to youth and is a Big Sister with the Big Brother, Big Sister organization of Manatee County and helped facilitate a partnership between the organization and PRIDE.

Shawna Machado, a senior graduating with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, was chosen as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Award.  This award is presented by the Alumni Association.  Working on plans to study abroad on a Fulbright Scholarship before returning to USF Sarasota-Manatee for a Master’s Degree, Shawna embodies outstanding in more ways than one.  A member of the Social Justice Initiative, the Psychology Club and the Sarasota School of Social Justices, she also works as a Family Advocate for Hope Family Services and volunteers in the community on top of maintaining her status as a full time student.  She is passionate about serving the underserved, working with victims of abuse and homelessness, and speaking for those who do not have a voice.

Professor Ross Alander, Senior Lecturer in Management Studies for the College of Business, has been selected by the students as the Spring 2012 Outstanding Professor.  He has an extensive and comprehensive background in Human Resources and Organizational Development in health care, the auto industry, professional employer organizations, with service companies, with professional groups, the public sector and not for profits.  Ross has held a number of management/leadership positions at the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors, including being a factory (foreman) supervisor.  Moving into the area of health care, he served as Personnel Administrative Manager of E.W. Sparrow Hospital in Lansing (Michigan) and as Vice President of Human Resources at Lansing General Hospital (Michigan), then for 10 years as the Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development for Tampa General Hospital, where he led a team of 200 members.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and economics and a master’s degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University and recently attended the Program on Negotiations at Harvard Law.