USFSM + Community Engagement + Business Partnerships
At the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, we embrace our role in the vibrant, diverse region we call home. As consolidation of the USF System progresses, we are excited about continuing to expand and strengthen university-community engagement and business partnerships.
We continue to offer the resources of a preeminent research institution along with the agility and responsiveness of a local campus. This enables us to identify needs and respond with community-engaged scholarship and innovative activities that support the region, and to create collaborative, mutually-beneficial partnerships that enhance student access to academic programs, research and employment opportunities.
Institute for public policy & Leadership
USFSM’s Institute for Public Policy and Leadership (IPPL) engages academic resources along with local, national and global experts to foster the exchange of ideas about important policy and leadership issues. In December, IPPL hosted the Suncoast Education Solutions Summit, bringing stakeholders together to discuss policy solutions to local education issues. The IPPL is led by Director Casey Welch and also hosted election-year candidate forums, a Workforce Solutions Summit and other events.
Bridge angel Investing Forum
USFSM and Sarasota-based Bridge Angel Investors co-sponsored “Wealth Creation for an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem," which provided an overview of angel investing and how it can lead to collaboration among the region’s ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, universities, businesses and regional development organizations. Leading angel investing expert and author Karen Rands delivered the keynote, and panelists included Valerie McDevitt, USF Associate Vice President, Pharmaceutical Studies.
Brunch on the bay
One event that clearly reflects USFSM’s close ties to the Sarasota and Manatee communities is Brunch on the Bay, our premier scholarship fundraiser and one of the most highly-anticipated social events on the region’s calendar each fall. The silver anniversary Brunch on the Bay, held in November, raised a record $320,000-plus and drew nearly 900 guests to USFSM’s bayfront campus. Over the past 25 years, Brunch has generated more than $5.5 million for scholarships, which have benefited local students who might not otherwise have been able to afford college.
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REVERSE Career Fair
In November, USFSM’s Career Services Office hosted a unique event, “Turn the Tables,” that flipped the traditional career fair format by giving students the opportunity to set up displays promoting their skills and experience while recruiters circulated through the room to meet potential candidates. Turn the Tables was an unqualified success, with 17 of the 22 attendees who responded to a post-event survey receiving an offer, and 14 of them accepting either an internship or a full-time job.
Financial literacy day III
For the third straight year, the university partnered with Sarasota-based Cumberland Advisors, the Global Interdependence Center and Financial Planning Association of the Suncoast to present Financial Markets and the Economy: Financial Literacy Day III. The event offered a series of panel discussions covering topics such as investing in the stock market, global economics and geopolitics and health, hunger and philanthropy. Wall Street Journal Senior Special Writer, Investigations Unit, Gretchen Morgenson provided the keynote speech.
Climate Change Conference
Our recent conference, “Adapting to a Changing Climate: Challenges and Opportunities,” brought together engineers, scientists, CEOs and local government officials for a discussion of how the Sarasota-Manatee region can respond to rising sea levels, red tide and hurricanes and develop adaptive strategies moving forward. The event was organized by scientist and entrepreneur Bob Bunting and co-sponsored by Cumberland Advisors, the Global Interdependence Center, the Science and Environmental Council and Atlas Insurance.
Engaging young minds
USFSM regularly engages with local elementary, middle and high school-aged students through initiatives such as Project SAIL (Summer of Arts Integrated Literacy), “What I Can Be With a College Degree” for fifth-graders thinking about post-secondary education, “Raising Techie Girls” for high school girls interested in computer science and information technology careers and the “Pathway to Success” program with Gamma Xi Boule for Booker High School students.
Perlman music program
Last winter, USFSM celebrated 10 years of hosting the prestigious Perlman Music Program/Suncoast, featuring promising young musicians from around the world visiting the campus to practice and perform. More than 6,000 residents from Sarasota, Manatee and surrounding counties enjoyed more than 20 free and low-cost musical experiences in the performance tent on USFSM’s campus. The program culminated with a concert at the Sarasota Opera House led by violinist Itzhak Perlman.
And much more!
Other collaborative examples include an alliance with FCCI Insurance Group, which has helped position the university to meet growing industry needs (see page 18); the Bloomberg Certified Talent Recruitment Luncheon, pairing Bloomberg Marketing Concepts-certified students with local financial companies; a philanthropic partnership with Designing Women Boutique, whose GroundWorks initiative supports scholarships with consignment proceeds; and partnerships with local governments and chambers of commerce to provide valuable student opportunities such as Career Connections, Shadow Days and mentoring programs.
Q&A with Greg Smogard, PhD
With the appointment of Greg Smogard, PhD, as Assistant Vice President of Innovation and business development, USF Sarasota-Manatee added a proven corporate and higher education leader to establish and build mutually beneficially partnerships between businesses and the university.
Spotlight: David Kotok, Cumberland Advisors
When David Kotok moved Cumberland Advisors, the financial services company he co-founded, from his native New Jersey to Sarasota in 2009, one of the challenges he faced was developing a pipeline of prospective financial services employees with specific skill sets.
Spotlight: LOYAL SUPPORTER Elizabeth Lindsay
Some 1,100 miles separate Elizabeth “Liz” Lindsay’s home along Sarasota’s Gulfview Drive from her tiny hometown of Derby, Conn. From a practical standpoint, the two places are worlds apart.
The Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) is a statewide center based at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee that provides the infrastructure for university partnerships supporting arts-integrated teaching.
Meeting Workforce Needs
USFSM’s partnership with Sarasota-based FCCI Insurance Group reflects the university’s ability to respond to local employers’ workforce needs in the area of risk management and insurance (RMI), which the State University System’s Board of Governors has designated as a “program of strategic emphasis.”