University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Students to Partner With 2015 Clearwater Beach Uncorked

Over 100 USF Sarasota-Manatee students plan to volunteer at the 2015 Clearwater Beach Uncorked held this week at the Hyatte Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa.

Over 100 USF Sarasota-Manatee students plan to volunteer at the 2015 Clearwater Beach Uncorked held February 7th and 8th at the Hyatte Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa.

SARASOTA, Fla. (February 2, 2015) – On February 7th and 8th, USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership (CHTL) will partner with the fourth annual Clearwater Beach Uncorked food and wine extravaganza held beachside in front of the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa. Uncorked will attract thousands of foodies, wine connoisseurs and style aficionados from around the region. This year, over 100 students from the CHTL will lend their energy and creativity through product promotion as well as their detailed knowledge of hospitality and business.

These students will explore the potential for social media support, review the overall brand awareness, analyze sponsorship needs, study how to attract world-class chefs to the event, review technology enhancements, and improve the overall operation on the day of the event.

“Participating in this event provides necessary hands-on experiences that can help close the gap between graduation and employment,” said Joe Askren, instructor and director of USFSM’s Culinary Innovation Lab. “Many of these students have not participated in an event this large and they will learn valuable lessons behind the scenes including administrative, registration, planning, theme and concept development, risk management and so much more.”

During the fall 2014 semester, Event Management students competed to develop unique marketing and operational initiatives and those winning ideas will be implemented during Uncorked in February. The students’ ideas are currently being executed by students from six spring semester classes: Intro to Beer Science, Hospitality Information Systems, Law & Ethics, Restaurant Management, Event Management and Lodging Management.

Students Franco Valencia, Alex Thomason-Christle and Anastasia Taylor were awarded the 2015 Clearwater Beach Uncorked Apprentice award for the research and marketing ideas submitted to be used in this year’s event. “The ideas in their final project were excellent and they each brought an interesting angle to the assignment,” said Tammy Gail, event producer of Clearwater Beach Uncorked. These three students are invited to attend the VIP Sponsor Party and will split the $500 prize.

As an added bonus to the students’ involvement, 10 percent of all proceeds will be donated to the CHTL to further develop academic programs, scholarships, research grants and campus infrastructure.

For more information about Uncorked, please visit


About USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM)

USF Sarasota-Manatee is a regional campus of the University of South Florida system, offering the prestige of a nationally ranked research university with the convenience of a hometown location, including classes in Manatee County, in North Port and online. Separately accredited, USFSM is ideal for those interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master’s degree, professional certification, or continuing education credit in a small, personal setting with distinguished faculty and a dynamic curriculum of over 40 academic programs. Website: