Biology major Katie McClure will present her work at a math conference.

Bull’s Notebook: USF Sarasota-Manatee student to present at math conference

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: January 27, 2017

SARASOTA, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2017) Kudos to biology major Katie McClure, who will represent USF Sarasota-Manatee at next month’s conference of the Mathematical Association of America and the Florida Two-Year College Mathematics Association.

McClure has worked since last fall with math instructor Dr. Joy D’Andrea studying liver cancer rates across Florida. Her work notes counties with high incidence of the disease and correlates them with potential contributing factors such as smoking, heavy drug and alcohol use and pollution.

A pre-med student, McClure will deliver a 25-minute presentation at the Feb. 17-18 conference and take questions from attendees. She started developing the study about a year after attending a math conference at St. Leo University in Pasco County. The sophomore, who turns 20 on Jan. 30, admitted to having some butterflies about presenting, but mostly is eager to discuss her work.

“It just makes me really excited and very honored to be chosen to present there,” she said.

Among other findings, her research noted that Union County, the state’s smallest county with a population just over 15,500, posted the highest liver cancer rate statewide. The rural area in northern Florida is home to the Union Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison, which likely triggered the higher numbers, she said.

The math conference rotates yearly among state colleges. This year’s event will be held in Bradenton at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.

Dr. D’Andrea described her student as “ready to take on the world” while having a keen aptitude for research. Conference presenters usually consist of grad students and professors, so it’s “a pretty big deal” for a sophomore, particularly a non-math major, to be presenting, she said.

McClure’s inclusion occurred quickly. She heard back from conference organizers in January after Dr. D’Andrea encouraged her only a few weeks earlier to submit an abstract explaining her study.

“It was really exciting,” McClure said.

USFSM looks to housing options

Finding affordable housing can be a challenge in Southwest Florida and students may find the quest even harder juggling work and school, which is why USF Sarasota-Manatee is eyeing three money-saving partnerships.

To provide rental discounts to USFSM students, the campus recently signed agreements with three Bradenton apartment complexes: Arbor Oaks at 5400 26th St. W; Bradenton Reserve, 6050 34th St. W; and Champions Walk, 4148 53rd Ave. W.

To learn more, contact the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid at (941) 359-4331. The campus holds no ownership or management role in any of the complexes and students may choose any housing option they wish.

Staff development resources offered

Funding is available to USF Sarasota-Manatee staff seeking professional development.

To help staff members reach their potential, USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone has established a Staff Professional Development Committee and committed funding to assist employees seeking professional development.

Application forms are available at Human Resources to attend professional conferences, workshops, technology seminars or to join professional associations. Applications received by Jan. 30 will be reviewed at the first committee meeting on Feb. 3. After that date, applications will be reviewed at the following committee meeting.

For more information, contact Human Resources at (941) 359-4224.

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