USF Manatee-Sarasota graduation Monday to send off 330 students

May 4, 2014 

PALMETTO — The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s spring commencement exercises will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, One Haben Blvd., Palmetto.

Of the 330 USF Sarasota-Manatee seniors who have applied to graduate, 190 are expected to attend the ceremony, including 42 master’s degree candidates and 286 bachelor’s degree candidates from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Hospitality and Technology Leadership and the USF Tampa College of Behavioral and Community Sciences.

Regional Chancellor Arthur Guilford will represent USF Sarasota-Manatee, and USF System President Judy Genshaft will preside. Bonnie Jones, regional vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, will be the announcer and Katerina Annaraud, faculty Senate president, will bear the mace of the University.

Sarah Bradtmueller, freshman from the USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Education, will perform the national anthem and USF alma mater.

Special award recipients

Golden Bull Service and Outstanding Leadership Award: Kaleigh Lundy, USFSM College of Education, Elementary Education. The Golden Bull is presented to a student who has demonstrated excellence in leadership activities, community and university involvement and academic success. Lundy graduates with a 3.7 grade-point average and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Lundy also volunteered in an elementary after-school program and participated in internships at three different Manatee County elementary schools, acting as student teacher for first through third grades.

Outstanding Graduate Award: Christopher Davis, College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology. This award is presented the graduating senior who embodies leadership, school spirit, community service, character and scholarship. Davis, 35, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an overall GPA of 3.58. He served more than 14 years in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and senior intelligence analyst in Special Operations where he was awarded two Bronze Star medals over seven deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines. After his service, Davis struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and was homeless. Davis plans to depart immediately to begin a 2,185 mile hike of the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness of the needs of veterans returning from deployment.

Paul Searles Webecke Award: Ryan Stulman, College of Business. This honor is given to the most outstanding student in the Master of Business Administration program. Stulman received his bachelor’s degree in finance from USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Business in 2008 and will be graduating the master’s program with an overall GPA of 3.86. He is payroll operations supervisor for BenefitMall. He is a veteran of the Iraq war where he served as sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning a Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Achievement in 2005. Stulman plans to pursue his passion for cooking by opening his own restaurant.

Spring 2014 Outstanding Professor: Ernest Scott, College of Arts and Sciences. The award is the highest campus level honor for USF Sarasota-Manatee faculty members. Scott is an instructor of criminology and a 30-year law enforcement veteran who retired as chief of investigations from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in central Florida.

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