From the Regional Chancellor

Karen A. Holbrook Regional Chancellor, USF Sarasota-Manatee

Karen A. Holbrook, Regional Chancellor, USF Sarasota-Manatee

In June, The University of South Florida was invited to join the prestigious Association of American Universities, a high honor that recognizes USF as a preeminent research institution. USF is only the third Florida university with membership in the AAU. We are also excited about the expansion of our campus with two new facilities, the student center and residence hall and the Nursing/STEM academic building, and the addition of academic programs that will increase our research opportunities. Both of these announcements translate into significant benefits for USF and for our community. Some of the research we are doing at USF SarasotaManatee with impact for our community is featured in this first edition of our Momentum magazine (formerly Research: USFSM):

  • Campus Dean Cheryl Ellerbrock of the College of Education and Assistant Professor Lindsay Persohn are leading a program funded by Sarasota philanthropists Joe and Mary Kay Henson for sixth-graders at Booker Middle School who need a mentor to help them experience the joy of reading and learning. Our students are the mentors. 
  • Michelle Arnold, an associate professor in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, is part of a research team that found hearing aids and other interventions can slow mental deterioration in older adults vulnerable to cognitive decline because of dementia or other conditions. 
  • Brooke Hansen and Paul Kirchman are among faculty in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the College of Arts and Sciences who are researching how to apply principles of sustainability to fields ranging from cross-cultural tourism communications to liquor distilling and beer-making. 
  • Jody McBrien, a professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, is applying her experiences gained on a recent sabbatical in Europe into a first-ever study of the motivations of expatriate women from the United States and other countries for such travel and the contributions they are making to their communities overseas. 
  • Criminologists and cybersecurity experts are working together to develop means of protection from threats in the online world to our money and safety. 
  • Lisa Penney, professor of management in the Muma College of Business, is researching how mindfulness can lead to better decision-making, especially in moments of stress. 

All of this wonderful work, and more, by our faculty and students is occurring at an exceptionally exciting moment in the history of the Sarasota-Manatee campus.

Consolidation of all three USF campuses has also allowed us to expand the opportunities for our students in their classwork and research. Rather than having 40 majors for them to consider, 220 majors are now open to all students. We plan to expand pre-professional programs in the health sciences and start new programs in collaboration with the College of Engineering and others being developed at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. We will discuss some of these exciting ventures in a future issue.

I invite you to enjoy this magazine and the interesting work that these stories recognize.

Karen A. Holbrook

Regional Chancellor, USF Sarasota-Manatee