State College of Florida to introduce Hermitage writer in residence

SCF selects Hermitage writer

BRADENTON -- State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota Language and Literature Department will introduce author Christopher Merrill as its Hermitage writer in residence at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 at SCF Venice, 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, building 800, Selby Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Merrill has published six collections of poetry, including "Watch Fire," for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets.

As director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Merrill has conducted cultural diplomacy missions to more than 40 countries. He serves on the U.S. National Commission for United Nations Scientific Cultural Organization and was appointed to the National Council on the Humanities by President Barack Obama in April 2012.

Information: Call Doug Ford at 941-408-1501 or

LaHurd named State College of Florida HR director

BRADENTON -- Jennifer LaHurd has been named director of human resources at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.

Prior to coming to SCF, she was the director of human resources at Pines of Sarasota for eight years.

LaHurd was named the Sarasota-Manatee Human Resources Association 2013 Human Resources Professional of the Year and 2007 Volunteer of the Year for community service. She also is a 2011-12 graduate of the Leadership Manatee Program.

She is past president and executive board member for the SHRA and was chairwoman for the 2013 SHRA Annual Conference.

LaHurd earned a master's degree in human resource management from Webster University in St. Louis, and a bachelor's degree in social work from Florida State University.

New College Research Conference is diverse

SARASOTA -- New College of Florida professors will share research on dolphins, technology, female athletes, performing Shakespeare, genetics and disease in a public conference from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the College's Sudakoff Conference Center.

The second Academic, Research & Creative Conference features presentations from 16 faculty members with displays of research.

The conference is free and open to the public. Lunch is for sale in the Hamilton Student Center.

State College of Florida to hold nursing info sessions

BRADENTON -- State College of Florida will host information sessions for students interested in nursing degrees: Noon Feb. 2 at SCF Venice, 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, Bldg. 800-Room 852; 5 p.m. Feb. 10 at SCF Lakewood Ranch, 7131 Professional Parkway E., CIT-Room 205; noon Feb. 19 at SCF Bradenton, 5840 26th St. W., Bldg.29-Room 14; 10 a.m. March 2 at SCF Bradenton, Bldg. 29-Room 106; 10 a.m. March 4 at SCF LWR, CIT-Room 203; and 5 p.m. March 31 at SCF Venice, Bldg. 800-Room 852

Information: Call Julie Darner at 941-752-5530, email or go to

Sarasota County schools open for choice requests

SARASOTA -- Parents who want students to attend a Sarasota County public school in 2015-16 other than a district school can submit a school choice application from Monday, Feb. 2, through Friday, Feb. 20.

Space is limited and demand high at some schools. It is not possible to accommodate all school choice requests.

Siblings are not guaranteed placement at a school over capacity. Options at some schools are limited to certain grade levels if those schools are near enrollment capacity. For schools open to choice go to

School choice approvals will be determined by a random lottery. Students will be assigned automatically to district school based on their residence or current school unless a school choice application is received.

School choice application forms will be available beginning Monday, Feb. 2, at all public schools and selected daycares, or by contacting the Office of School Choice at 941-927-9000, ext. 32255. Parents will be notified of choice assignments in April.

-- Herald staff reports