Students and business owners regionwide will gather for the conference on Saturday.

Bulls Notebook: Students to gather for ‘Social Entrepreneurship Conference’ in Sarasota

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: September 17, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. (Sept. 17, 2019) – Students from across Southwest Florida, including the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, will gather at New College of Florida on Saturday for a unique conference that unites entrepreneurship with socially conscious goals and objectives.

Sudakoff Conference Center

The Social Entrepreneurship Conference, hosted by the Cross College Alliance, is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at New College’s Harry Sudakoff Conference Center, 5845 General Dougher Place, Sarasota.

Led by students for students, the free event will bring together successful local business owners to share their startup stories of how they built organizations that have already demonstrated an extraordinary impact on our community.

The Cross College Alliance, comprised of five institutions – New College, the Ringling (Florida State University), the Ringling College of Art & Design, State College of Florida and the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee – is sponsoring the conference.

Visit to register.

The event was started by two New College students, Emiliano Espinosa and Daniel Schell, in the hope it will “end the cycle of non-action that exists in the expression of ideas,” according to Schell.

Greg Smogard, PhD

Business owners will share their stories within one of three broad categories: Social Entrepreneurship, Creative Entrepreneurship and Environmental Entrepreneurship.

Joy Randels, CEO of tech company accelerator New Market Partners, will serve as kickoff speaker. Randels has helped launch more than 75 companies and raise more than $300 million in venture capital.

USFSM alum Pete Peterson, CEO of Dealers United, and USFSM Innovation and Business Development Officer Greg Smogard, PhD, will moderate two panel discussions.

Highlighting the conference will be the Incubator Competition, in which three teams chosen this summer from 10 entries pitch ideas to a judges’ panel. The team with the winning idea will receive $3,000 and rent-free space for a year at business incubator BOLD CoWork Sarasota.

One of the teams represents USFSM: Students Carlos Moreira, James Wendland and Joshua Baker, are proposing an app, “Eco+,” that rewards users for environmentally friendly actions, demonstrating that even small acts can help the environment.

In addition, conference-goers can vote for their favorite idea. The winner will receive the People’s Choice Award, worth $500.

The conference includes free breakfast and lunch. Visit for more information.

The conference schedule is as follows:

9:30-10 a.m.                            Registration

10 a.m.-10:30 a.m.                 Welcome and Opening Remarks

10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m.            Social Entrepreneurship Panel

11:15 a.m.-Noon                     Environmental Entrepreneurship Panel

Noon-1 p.m.                            Break for Lunch (two free food trucks, including vegan options)

1 p.m.-1:45 p.m.                     Creative Entrepreneurship Panel

1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m.                Competition Pitches and People’s Choice Award

2:45 p.m.-3 p.m.                     Announcement of Awards and Closing Remarks

USFSM to hold ‘Freshman Preview’ for future students

High school seniors and their families can get an insider’s look at college life at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s “Freshman Preview,” set for Saturday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Brandon Avery

The half-day session offers prospective students a detailed review of programs and activities at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, which offers a high-quality, affordable education close to home. Attendees will meet current students, faculty, staff and admissions advisors and tour classrooms, the campus café, Selby Auditorium and other facilities.

“We are excited to show all of the opportunities Sarasota-Manatee students will have as part of a united USF,” Associate Director of Admissions Brandon Avery said. “We will be showcasing new paths to degrees, an increased degree value, and walking students through the application process. I think families will leave informed and pleasantly surprised by what we have to offer.”

The event is free and open to students who have applied to USFSM or are thinking about applying. Come out and meet your future classmates and learn about what it means to be part of the USFSM family. Visit to reserve your spot at the Freshman Preview.

For questions or more information, contact or call (941) 359-4331.

Self-defense class offered for students, alumni and others

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is partnering with New College of Florida to hold a free self-defense class for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The class is scheduled for Oct. 22, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at New College’s fitness center, 5639 General Twinning Blvd., Sarasota.

Register for the class no later than Oct. 18. Visit

The class will include training in:

  • Situational awareness
  • Safety tips
  • Crime prevention methods
  • De-escalation techniques

Participants are required to wear T-shirts or long-sleeve shirts, shorts or warm-up pants and sneakers. Do not wear any jewelry.

The class is sponsored the Campus Police Department serving USF Sarasota-Manatee and New College.

Faizan Ali wins publisher’s award for research paper

Kudos to Faizan Ali, PhD, of the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership for winning the 2019 Emerald Literati Award for his paper, “An assessment of the use of partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) in hospitality research,” published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management in January 2018 (

Bulls Notebook: USFSM students to present research at conference

Faizan Ali, PhD

The award was announced last month in Malaysia at the International Symposium on Applied Structural Equation Modeling and Methodological Matters. Ali could not attend the symposium due to his class schedule. Coauthors Marko Sarstedt, PhD, and Christian M. Ringle, PhD, accepted the award on his behalf.

“It was a big deal for me to be recognized for my work this early in my career,” Ali said. “For this particular research, I reviewed all the hospitality research published from 2001 to 2017. I was thrilled when this research paper was accepted to be published in the industry’s best hospitality journal, let alone getting a prestigious award for it.”

The Emerald Literati Awards celebrate and reward outstanding contributions of authors and reviewers to scholarly research by Emerald Publishers.

“In my opinion, the paper was selected because it discusses an emerging research method, partial least squares-based structural equation modeling, in hospitality and tourism. The paper reviews the current state of this research method and provides detailed guidelines as to why, when and how this method should be applied by hospitality researchers.

“Within one year of its publication, the paper had been downloaded more than 10,000 times from different platforms by researchers from around the world,” he said.

In addition, the paper was designated as a “Highly Cited Paper” by the Web of Science website, meaning it received enough citations to place it in the top one percent in the academic field of social sciences.

Apply for nursing degree program by Oct. 4

The USF College of Nursing is accepting applications through Oct. 4 for admission into the first cohort of the Accelerated Second Degree (ASD) nursing program at USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The first cohort will begin classes at USFSM in January.

The second degree nursing program, offered by the USF College of Nursing and hosted at USFSM, is an affordable option for college graduates looking to switch gears and obtain a high-quality bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Through the ASD nursing program, students can obtain a degree within four semesters, including one summer term, and complete all coursework, together with clinical training, at USFSM’s campus and at hospitals in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Learn more about the program and how to apply by visiting

Five from USFSM invited to present research at conference

Three USF Sarasota-Manatee students and two alumni have been invited to present their research at next month’s Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists conference.

Psychology majors Brittiny M. Haralson, John Petrino and Lauren Wangenstein will join recent graduates Nevin Riedler and Carlos Santos in presenting their work at the Oct. 25-26 conference in Johnson City, Tennessee. The group will present research posters and discuss their work.

USF Sarasota-Manatee student sings anthem before Heat game

Jay Michaels, PhD

“As a student, I am still taken aback when I realize that the projects I’ve worked on in my classes have scientific merit,” Haralson said. “I had to take a step back and appreciate that others find my work relevant and worthy of presentation.”

Her work is titled, “Impact of race and class on attitudes toward gun control and police force.”

Two USFSM instructors collaborated with the students on their research, Assistant Professor Jay Michaels, PhD, and Associate Professor Anthony Coy, PhD.

Petrino said he felt privileged to work alongside such noted researchers.

USF Sarasota-Manatee student sings anthem before Heat game

Anthony Coy, PhD

“Having a faculty mentor like Dr. Michaels has allowed me to gain insights into areas of psychology that go above and beyond the standard curriculum,” said Petrino, whose project is named, “Does religious motivation and strength of religiosity affect personal meaning in life?”

This isn’t the first time the instructors had students present at a major conference. Several students have presented at regional, national and even international conferences.

“Anthony and I have been successful in mentoring USFSM undergraduates on taking their research to the next level in recent years,” Michaels said.

“Each of these students has committed themselves to the challenges and excitement of research, an opportunity unique to USFSM for allowing faculty greater capacity to work one-on-one with students,” he said. “I look forward to seeing their presentations in October.”

Also scheduled are:

  • “Spirituality prototype features predict meaning in life outcomes,” by Santos
  • “Religious service attendance does not enhance the search for meaning. …Unless you’re thinking in a global way,” by Wangenstein
  • “The Truth and Bias of Perceived Partner Attachment,” by Riedler.

Davis-Cotton tapped as keynote speaker for black faculty and staff welcome breakfast

Denise Davis-Cotton, PhD

Denise Davis-Cotton, PhD, director of the Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInT) at USF Sarasota-Manatee, has been selected to give the keynote address at this year’s 31st Annual University of South Florida Black Faculty and Staff Association Welcome Breakfast.

The yearly event recognizes diverse members of the USF community and kicks off a year of upcoming initiatives and programs.

State Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, gave the keynote speech at last year’s breakfast, which also included several awards to staff and faculty.

This year’s event is set for Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the USF Marshall Student Center in Tampa.

For more information, visit

Malkic receives special surprise during Rotary Club visit

USFSM global engagement director completes Fulbright program visit to India

Amela Malkic

USF Sarasota-Manatee Director of Global Engagement Amela Malkic received a pleasant surprise a few weeks ago when she addressed the Sarasota Sunrise Rotary Club.

Malkic, who is also president of the Mid-Florida Fulbright Chapter, was invited to speak about her visit to India last spring as part of a grant from the Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators program.

Malkic joined 13 other awardees in a two-week visit to colleges and universities, including the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, the Foundation for Liberal and Management Education in Pune and the T-Hub, India’s fastest-growing startup incubator in Hyderabad.

After recounting her story to Rotary members, she received a Certificate of Appreciation and learned that members had made a donation in her name to the Polio Plus program.

“Their generosity will ensure that 20 children in the world will receive lifesaving polio inoculations,” said Malkic, who was deeply moved by the gesture.

Club member Bhuvan Unhelkar, PhD, a professor of information technology in USFSM’s College of Business, invited Malkic to address the club, where she was greeted by fellow club member Jean Kabongo, PhD, an associate professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship in the College of Business.

“I would like to sincerely thank my colleagues Bhuvan and Jean for their warm welcome and support during my visit,” Malkic said.

Le Clainche cited in WUSF story about military PTSD program

Melanie Le Clainche, assessment coordinator for institutional research and effectiveness, was quoted in a recent WUSF story that highlighted the Morean Arts Center’s glassblowing program for military vets with PTSD.

Le Clainche joined a group of researchers to evaluate the program, Operation Art of Valor, which launched last year through a partnership between the Morean Arts Center and the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa.

Patients at the hospital and local veterans meet at the center on Sundays to learn glassblowing and interact with fellow vets. The USF team, including Le Clainche, observed the group to determine how well the program worked and how to improve it.

She was quoted in the story about half-way down:

“Through the reflection it became obvious that teamwork was a catalyst for growth in all areas,” said Melanie Le Clainche, assessment coordinator for Institutional Research and Effectiveness at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

She goes on to say that more work is needed on the organizational side, but that the program is helpful for the vets.

“We need to notice when a program is exceptional and then put behind it what it takes to transform people’s lives, and we’re talking about military veterans and patients who have given a lot for us, so I think we can give back to them something that can bring some hope and satisfaction and just centering in their lives,” she said.

To read the story, visit

USFSM grant-writing workshop to benefit faculty research

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Office of Research has two grant-writing workshops this month to support faculty research. Both are set for Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon in Room A217,

The first, scheduled this Friday, is entitled “Research: Leveraging online resources to identify grant opportunities to support your research.”

The second, called “Prestigious Fellowships and Award Opportunities: Focusing on Humanities and Social Sciences,” is set for Sept. 27.

The sessions are designed to provide helpful resources and teach advanced skills to prepare strong and competitive proposals. Two additional sessions are set for Oct. 4 and Oct. 11.

Visit for more information.

Ripo completes QM Course Review

E-Learning Services congratulates Toni Ripo, Careers Services coordinator and adjunct instructor in the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, on the successful completion of an Internal Quality Matters Course Review for her online course, Leading in the Workplace.

The Internal Quality Matters Course Review is a rigorous process designed to certify quality and alignment through the Quality Matters rubric of best practices for online learning.

Instructors who successfully complete the Internal Quality Matters Review can include the USFSM Quality logo on the front page of their online course description and will be acknowledged for their achievements in the Florida Virtual Campus course directory.

To learn more about Quality Matters, contact E-Learning Services.

USFSM professors support musical performance, fundraiser

Two USF Sarasota-Manatee professors, Sunita Lodwig, PhD, and Bhuvan Unhelkar, PhD, are helping raise awareness about a fundraising event featuring world-renowned musicians Pandit Shubhendra Rao on the Indian cello and Saskia Rao-De Haas on the traditional western cello.

Sunita Lodwig, PhD

Their performance, “East Marries West,” has been featured at festivals and concert halls worldwide. Rao and De Haas are scheduled to perform at the Sarasota Opera House on Friday, Oct. 4, with proceeds supporting the Sarasota Sunrise Rotary Club’s beach wheelchair project.

Visit for tickets.

Lodwig and Unhelkar are members of the Rotary Club and teach information technology in the College of Business.

Bhuvan Unhelkar, PhD

“Given that Sarasota is home to many disabled veterans and others who are mobility challenged, it is essential that we provide the means for them to enjoy our famous beaches,” Lodwig said.

Rao and De Haas are renowned for their collaboration and have performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and other popular venues. They are creators of Sangeet4All, the first Indian music curriculum for young learners.

Visit to view a performance by the two musicians.

USFSM to host Career Coaching sessions for students

USF Sarasota-Manatee is inviting students to one-on-one Career Coaching sessions featuring four renowned business and community leaders. The sessions began last week and will run throughout the semester in Room C118.

Students can sign up at

Informative and inspiring, the sessions enable students to meet individually with industry experts to discuss key career topics, from effective résumé writing and interview techniques to communication skills, long-term career plans and other issues.

The coaches include:

  • Marco Galante, an accomplished senior executive with a multinational background in the food and food ingredients industry. His motto: “Work for a cause not applause!” Galante will meet with students from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 25, Oct. 23, Nov. 6 and Nov. 20.
  • Jeannine Abele, a noted senior executive in the consumer products and industrial business sectors. With more than 30 years of executive leadership experience, Abele has led global IT organizations with a focus on supply chain, marketing and sales and service. Her motto is “Make a difference every day!” She will be available from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 18, Oct. 2, Oct. 16, Oct. 30 and Nov. 13.
  • Ann King, a talented IT industry veteran with extensive knowledge of sales and marketing and consulting. King worked in executive positions at software and hardware companies for more than 35 years. Her motto: “Think!” She will be on hand to talk with students from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 3 and Oct. 17
  • Bonnie Johnson, a retired senior sales/marketing executive in the information technology industry. Johnson has more than 25 years of experience in key executive positions focused on information technology and clinical consulting. Johnson’s motto is: “Make your job a reality!” She will be available from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 26, Oct. 10, Oct. 24 and Nov. 17.

In addition, Career Services will host special sessions on Oct. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m., and Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to noon, to provide further information to students seeking career and internship advice.

Visit Career Services for more information.

‘Let’s Talk Talent Tuesdays’ debuts

Career Services reminds students about the new career-boosting program “Let’s Talk Talent Tuesdays.”

The weekly program, which debuted this week and features a slate of guest speakers discussing career issues, runs from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Military and Veterans Success Center on the first floor of the Campus Center. Students and faculty are invited to stop by.

Topics and speakers include:

  • Oct. 1: “Internships in Public Service,” with Heidi Raymond and Xavier Colon of Manatee County government
  • Oct. 15: “Professionalism and Social Media,” with Kayla Cramer of Enterprise Holdings
  • Oct. 29: “Networking for Success,” with Patrice Say and Camille Mars of FCCI Insurance Group
  • Nov. 12: “Interview Techniques,” with Zolia Hernandez, Matt Real and Peter Bryant of Bank of America

Students can win a gift card by registering with Handshake

Students can win a $25 Amazon gift card by signing up with Handshake, the career and internship posting site that specializes in college students. Every Fortune 500 company recruits on Handshake.

Complete your Handshake profile by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, and become eligible for a gift card. Three winners will be chosen.

Provide the following to complete your profile:

  • A short bio
  • Three skills
  • Education experience
  • Work experience
  • Showcase three courses you have taken

Join Handshake at

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