Brunch on the Bay marked its 25th Anniversary on Sunday.

Bulls Notebook: Brunch on the Bay a celebration of giving

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: November 05, 2018

Bulls Notebook: Brunch on the Bay a celebration of givingSARASOTA, Fla. (Nov. 05, 2018) USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Brunch on the Bay set a festive tone from the start: Guests entering the Silver Anniversary event on Sunday were serenaded by a trio of musicians and greeted by USF cheerleaders, gold and green balloons and tables of mimosas in fluted glasses.

“This is such a wonderful event, and it means so much, not just to this campus and our students, but to this community as well,” USFSM Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook said.

More than 800 attended the annual two-hour affair, enjoying grilled lobster tail, eggs Benedict, crepes Suzette and other favorites. But it was the camaraderie and generosity of Brunch supporters that was most on display – and celebrated.

Special guest USF System President Judy Genshaft said at the outset that Brunch’s impact on students can’t be underestimated as funds raised provide scholarships to enable students to graduate and lead productive lives in their communities.

“The word I’m thinking is ‘transformational,’” Dr. Genshaft said. “This is about giving students an opportunity to learn and grow and be a part of the workforce and to transform our communities.”

Bulls Notebook: Brunch on the Bay a celebration of givingBrunch has done that and more since in 1994. Starting with that first event, Brunch has awarded more than 1,700 scholarships, totaling in excess of $1 million, and created a scholarship endowment totaling $1.3 million.

Including state matching grants, endowment earnings and in-kind support, Brunch has helped generate more than $5.5 million for college scholarships – of which most have gone toward local students.

Being able to make a difference is what brings crowds to the annual event – that, and the 20 or so restaurants, caterers and gourmet eateries that line the courtyard under white tents.

However, for some Brunch supporters, like 2016 alum Lauren Henry, who co-chaired this year’s Brunch organizing committee with Bob Turner, former publisher of the Bradenton Herald, giving back only seems natural.

“I benefitted directly from Brunch scholarships and now to be able to help as a co-chair and make it possible for more students to get a higher education at this fantastic university, is an incredible honor,” Henry said. “It’s a worthy cause to be able to invest in the next generation because that builds our community.”

Perennial Brunch supporters Rick Smith and Cliff Walters said the event reminds them of just how far USFSM has come since its founding in 1975. Before the campus building opened in 2006, classes were held next door at New College of Florida.

“There’s always more to do,” said Smith, who served on the original Brunch organizing committee. “But from where we started, using space at New College to having our own building and pushing to have a second building, which we need desperately, and some sort of housing, I think we’ve come a long way. It’s a beautiful campus and I’ve talked to a lot of kids and they love it.”

Walters, an attorney and longtime USFSM supporter, agreed, adding that in addition to serving as a reminder of how far USFSM has come, Brunch reflects the community’s hopes for the future.

“I think it helps remind people of the importance of a strong university and what it can mean to a community,” he said.

Bulls Notebook: Brunch on the Bay a celebration of giving

Kayla Collins, right, receives a hug from USF System President Judy Genshaft.

Kayla Collins, a criminology student, addressed donors about the importance of Brunch to her and how it’s made a difference in her life.

Driving from North Port each week, Collins said she used to leave right after class for the long drive home.

Then one day she decided to get involved at the campus and now she serves as a Student Ambassador, community leader, lead campus experience guide and solicitor general for Student Government – all while maintaining a 3.92 Grade Point Average.

Collins said her on-campus experience helped her emerge from her shell while also convincing her mother, Amy, to enroll in classes to further her own career.

Now, both mother and daughter  look forward to graduating in 2020, Kayla in the spring and Amy in the fall.

“I’m able to do all this because of the wonderful support system that I have, starting with my parents and ending with each of you,” she told the Brunch guests. “The saying that it takes a village to raise a child couldn’t be more true in my case. It has taken this village to get me to where I am today. Without the support of you, the support of the Brunch on the Bay scholarship, I’m not sure what my current situation would look like.

“This scholarship has made such a difference my life and in my family’s lives,” Collins said. “As we advance toward our degrees we know exactly who to turn to in gratitude.”

USFSM to hold open House for prospective students

USF Sarasota-Manatee has scheduled an Open House for prospective freshman and transfer students on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the USFSM campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Bulls Notebook: USF Sarasota-Manatee offers ‘Classroom & Career Days’

Brandon Avery

Students, faculty and support staff from Financial Aid and Admissions will be on hand to explain all that USFSM has to offer as well as opportunities for financial aid.

“This Open House is our chance to really show off everything that makes USFSM part of a preeminent university system,” said Brandon Avery, assistant director of admissions.

“Students don’t just hear about the many programs offered here, but learn how to properly finance their education, add value to their degree, and move into their chosen career in a timely manner,” he said. “We really hope students learn and enjoy this opportunity.”

To attend the USFSM Open House, visit

Game on Nation founder to visit USF Sarasota-Manatee

Bulls Notebook: Brunch on the Bay set for Sunday

Steven Shenbaum

Steve Shenbaum, the founder of Game on Nation, the leadership, teambuilding and communication consulting group, will visit the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., to present his one-of-a-kind, interview-training program.

Shenbaum is best known for working with corporations, athletic teams and professional and collegiate athletes. Among his clients are, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Deloitte, New York Yankees, University of Kentucky basketball program, NASCAR and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

In this fun, interactive program, Shenbaum will teach students how to communicate effectively and with confidence. To see his video, visit

Food and door prizes will be available. To attend, make reservations at

Arts learning event set at USF Sarasota-Manatee

Aspiring young artists will learn how to turn their talent into a career at a “Careers in the Arts Workshop” this weekend at USFSM, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

About 200 local middle school and high school students are invited to the workshop, scheduled Saturday, Nov. 10, at 9 a.m. at the campus’ Selby Auditorium.

The Florida Center for the Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInT), which is based at USFSM, is organizing the event. It’s sponsored by the Florida Department of Education and Florida Alliance for the Arts.

For more information about PAInT, visit

ACT Prep classes coming to USFSM

High school students thinking about college can benefit from the upcoming Act Prep Course scheduled to start Thursday at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

This four-class session will help high school students preparing for the ACT college entrance exam. The classes will be held at USFSM’s campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota:

  • Thursday, Nov. 8, 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 15, 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

The course is $65 plus the cost of two books ($28-$35 depending if purchased online or in a bookstore), which are required for the course.

For more information or to register, visit

International Education Week at USFSM set for Nov. 13-15

Students and faculty can learn about study abroad opportunities at International Education Week, Nov. 13-15 at USFSM.

The week kicks off 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, with the second annual World Showcase. Students, faculty and staff can visit the FCCI Rotunda to explore different cultures. Presenters will set up tables with interactive displays and activities.

Also on Nov. 13, a faculty information session will be held about how to propose a study abroad program (write to, and a study abroad information session about Merida, Mexico, is scheduled. This latter session, for students, runs from 4 to 5 p.m. at Room B240.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the Study Abroad Fair is scheduled at the FCCI Rotunda from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Co-sponsored by USF World, this event is for students to learn about USFSM faculty-led study abroad programs and Peace Corps opportunities.

Additionally, an information session will be held Nov. 14 on USAID and international careers. This session, by USAID Development Diplomat-in-Residence Carlye Cammisa, will inform students about international careers and Foreign Service careers. The session is scheduled from 2 to 3 p.m. in Room B242.

Closing out Nov. 14 will be a presentation about a USFSM-led study abroad trip to France and Italy this summer (see below). Students can learn about the month-long program from 4 to 5 p.m. in Room B240.

On Thursday, Nov. 15, students can attend a session about how to pay for their study abroad trips, including funding opportunities and important deadlines. Visit Room B335 from noon to 1 p.m.

Closing out International Education Week will be a special panel discussion on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. called “Puerto Rico: A Year after Maria.”

This discussion is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Selby Auditorium. Expert panelists will share information about relief efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and discuss the current situation there.

The panel will be comprised of: Dr. Carlos E. Jiménez-Angueira, a USFSM accounting professor; Retired Air Force officer Col. Evelio “EJ” Otero, Jr.; and Deidre Orriola, MPH, CPH, CLC, an instructor at USF’s College of Public Health.

For more about this event, visit

USFSM professors organizing student trip to France, Italy

Bulls Notebook: USFSM, the Ritz-Carlton present HospitaBull

Dr. Joe Askren

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Dr. Joe Askren and Dr. Ken Caswell are inviting students on a four-week tour of Italy and France during summer 2019.

The USFSM History & Culture of Food & Beverage program runs from May 26 to June 21 and takes students on tours of vineyards, local farms and markets. Students will engage in chef-designed cooking classes and collaborative discussion with chefs, food scientists and hospitality experts.

The program is open to students of any major, 18 years of age or older, with an interest in Italian and French culture and language. Tuition is for six credit hours.

USFSM’s Science of Beer brewing system expands

Dr. Ken Caswell

The $5,376.34 cost includes accommodations, a daily continental breakfast, 11 lunches, eight dinners and five tastings. It includes excursions to farms, wineries, a cheese house, and brewery and cooking demonstrations, as well as emergency medical and evacuation insurance.

Students will be responsible for their own air fare, personal expenses and tuition costs.

For more information, or to register, visit


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