By Georgia Jackson, University Communications and Marketing
The University of South Florida has named Joe Askren, a professor of instruction in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management on the Sarasota-Manatee campus, director of the Brewing Arts program, creating opportunities for expanded partnerships between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Muma College of Business.
Thomas Smith, campus dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at USF St. Petersburg, is "absolutely thrilled" with the appointment. "Professor Askren's expertise and enthusiasm for the brewing arts ensures that that program will continue to thrive and contribute to our community for many years to come," he said.
Launched in 2015, the Brewing Arts program is a biannual, 23-week, online program offered by USF St. Petersburg that prepares participants for a successful career in the craft brewing industry. Taught by local business owners and subject experts, the course guides participants through the brewing process — from the base ingredients to the science and business of craft beer — in 11 modules. Participants then gain hands-on experience by way of interning with a local brewery, wherever they are in the world.
"The USF Brewing Arts program has developed a reputation for excellence, both here in Tampa Bay and beyond,” said Christian Hardigree, regional chancellor of USF St. Petersburg. “It is a source of pride for our community, and our graduates have gone on to positions of distinction at breweries around the country. We are so grateful to Jennifer Sedillo for her efforts in building the program and are confident it will continue to grow and thrive under Professor Askren's leadership.”
Chris Cardona, a U.S. Navy veteran who completed the program last year, called the program “instrumental.”
“Not only did the program provide a business plan, but it also provided wisdom and insight from the instructors, who are successfully operating breweries, and other professionals in the industry, who taught different modules during the course,” said Cardona, who plans to pursue a career in brewing after retiring from public service.
Known on the Sarasota-Manatee campus for his hands-on beer science course, Askren sees his new role as an opportunity to enhance partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Muma College of Business — and to further the work Jennifer Sedillo, the program’s former director, laid out during her tenure.
“I can’t say enough about what Jennifer did to develop the original curriculum,” Askren said. “She recently added the Certified Cicerone exam and a Brewers Association safety course that’s nationally recognized. She and the other founders of the program deserve much credit.”
The program is currently enrolling students for the February 2024 course. Visit stpetersburg.usf.edu/brewing-arts to learn more or apply.