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USF-Sarasota-Manatee Celebrates Successful 2021

The USF Sarasota-Manatee campus celebrated outstanding student and faculty achievements in 2021, a year that saw lingering challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic but also a determination to emerge stronger.

Campus leaders offered guidance and support to students and the community to help navigate the worst of COVID-19 and pivot to a post-pandemic environment. At the same time, the campus continued to push ahead with new educational programs, business alliances and a new student study center.

To stay connected, Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook, organized weekly virtual town hall meetings where staff, faculty, students, Campus Board members and others could learn about campus developments, strategize or offer positive suggestions and “shout outs.”

Here, in chronological order, are some of the top stories of 2021 at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus:

More than 5,700 worldwide attend USF certificate program to help hospitality industry emerge from COVID-19 crisis

With restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses worldwide reeling from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Muma College of Business School of Hospitality and Tourism Management stepped up offering a free seven-week online program to help businesses navigate the pandemic. A tremendous success, the series attracted more than 5,700 participants from 116 countries. 

USF Health College of Nursing launches new training program for nurses during COVID-19

Thanks to a $57,000 donation from Sarasota philanthropists David Kotok and Christine Schlesinger, the USF Health College of Nursing was able to implement a program to help nurses stay safe while treating patients during the pandemic. The self-paced online program, “Frontline Nursing During COVID-19: A New Paradigm,” was available nationally to help nurses manage the challenges treating COVID patients, including their own mental and physical health. 

USF student embraces diversity, change through annual outdoor art exhibit

USF student Seth Morano is becoming a regular at the Embracing Our Differences art show in Sarasota, with organizers displaying Morano’s work for a fourth consecutive year. The popular exhibit features extra-large posters paired with relevant, original quotations from participants worldwide that spotlights issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Show organizers receive thousands of entries yearly, but only 50 ever make the cut. “I feel extremely blessed to be a part of this to make a difference in my community,” says Morano, 19.

USF Muma College of Business launches cybersecurity major at USF Sarasota-Manatee campus

The Muma College of Business unveiled a new major to offer students a pathway to high-paying careers in cybersecurity. Hosted by the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, the Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Management (IACM) program is a unique major in Muma, combining core business courses with information assurance, cybersecurity management and analytics. Professor Giti Javidi was named director of the IACM program. 

USF introduces online options, accelerated one-year master’s degree in hospitality

The Muma College of Business introduced new online course options plus an accelerated one-year program to help international students and those with busy schedules earn a master’s degree in hospitality management. The changes enabled students to attend classes in person, stream lectures through live video conferencing and view recorded sessions to keep up with classes. Additionally, hospitality management students will be able to opt for a traditional two-year master’s degree program or an accelerated one-year program. 

Local employers welcome to attend virtual college career fair on March 25 

Unlike traditional career fairs, “reverse career fairs” enable students to meet and interview potential employers — not the other way around. The event features students handpicked for their abilities, educational specialty and internship and job experiences. Employers, in turn, are able to review the students’ resumes prior to the event to help decide which students meet their specific hiring objectives.

USF Student Consulting course connects students, local businesses

The University of South Florida is connecting students and local companies as a part of a new Student Consulting class at the Sarasota-Manatee campus. The three-credit, semester-long course matches local companies and nonprofits with senior-level students to assist on projects and offer in-depth analysis and recommendations – all under faculty supervision. “USF is continually seeking new ways to partner with the community while also preparing our students for the workplace,” said course instructor Greg Smogard, assistant vice president for innovation and business development at the Sarasota-Manatee campus.

USF remembers heroes, victims of Sept. 11 attacks in ceremony at Sarasota-Manatee campus

The University of South Florida marked the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a special community event at the Sarasota-Manatee campus. More than 150 attended the 90-minute ceremony, which featured Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook and New York City firefighter Garrett Lindgren, who shared their experiences about Sept. 11, 2001. 

USF center director lands historic $8.5 million arts learning grant, the largest award ever for the Sarasota-Manatee campus

Denise Davis-Cotton, director of the University of South Florida Center for Partnerships in Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInT), was named principal investigator of an $8.5 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to strengthen arts educational programming in the nation’s educational system. 

Study center opens at USF Sarasota-Manatee campus

The USF Sarasota-Manatee campus opened a 1,721-square-foot student study center near the first-floor rotunda to create additional areas for private study, collaborative learning and small group presentations. The center, which took six months to complete, addressed calls by students and campus leadership to create additional study space on campus. 

Efforts under way to assist the critical local nursing shortage through USF Health College of Nursing and Sarasota Memorial Hospital collaboration

The USF Health College of Nursing and Sarasota Memorial Hospital introduced a collaborative program to address the workforce shortage. The Excellence in Nursing During COVID-19 and Beyond program seeks to improve the working environment for nurses facing burnout and stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, which includes coaching and other resources to help nurses, will debut in Spring 2022.

Brunch on the Bay returns to USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, sets fundraising record

Brunch on the Bay, the campus’ signature fundraising event for scholarships, made a huge splash in its return to the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus this November. The event set a record with more than $500,000 raised. More than 600 attended the two-hour gala, including USF President Rhea Law, President emerita Judy Genshaft and other dignitaries. 
  
USF and McKibbon Hospitality partner to turn iconic hotel brands into teaching labs

USF’s Muma College of Business and McKibbon Hospitality announced a partnership to create intensive training labs within McKibbon’s managed hotels. The affiliation will allow USF hospitality management students to learn from industry experts, giving them access to 93 teaching hotels across the country. Muma’s hospitality program is based on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. 

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