Featured Stories August 2021
Mike Sutton, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, is the next guest of the Conversation with a CEO slated for Sept. 9. The event is virtual and free, though registration is required. Sutton took over the nonprofit seven years ago and heads an organization that is now ranked No. 2 in the nation for new home construction. To register, click here.
Student Spotlight: Nia’Symone Francisco takes her academics seriously – she’s studying for a business advertising degree – because she knows that advertising and marketing is one of the many ways to make an impact on the world. She also is focused on the artistry that is the spoken word. Aside from strenuous classroom work and other leadership duties she is true to her creative, cultivated side. Read more.
The Muma College of Business 25 Under 25 honorees spent an evening at Busch Gardens recently, where they were treated to a face-to-face visit with some of the unique animals at the theme park. The program recognizes both undergrads and graduate students who have demonstrated success in academics, leadership, professional development, and campus/community service. To view photos of the reception, click here.
Pat Moreo, the dean of the Muma College of Business’ School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, is stepping down after five years at the helm of the innovative and evolving program. He plans to continue with his research and get back to his true love, teaching. Taking his place, as interim dean of the school, is Cihan Cobanoglu, the McKibbon Endowed Chair and director of M3 Center on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. Read more.
After 24 years of service with the Florida Small Business Development Center at USF, Eileen Rodriguez has left it all behind. She retired on Aug. 6, leaving behind a long list of accomplishments. Her legacy was recognized last month week by the Florida Small Business Development Center Network state office, which honored Rodriguez with the 2021 Jerry Cartwright Lifetime Achievement Award. Read more.
Alumnus Spotlight: Loren Isakson, a board certified in allergy, immunology and pediatrics, has made a career out of treating patients, consulting with the military about vaccines and donating hours to help those who can't afford health care. He also dusts it up as a drummer in a rock 'n' roll band made up of other medical professionals, playing classics by the Allman Brothers, Clapton and the Dead Velvet Underground. Read more.
Fall classes at USF begin on Aug. 23, and students, staff and faculty continue to watch for updates about the pandemic. USF, and the Muma College of Business, want to make the college experience both fulfilling, rewarding and safe for everyone. The university issued updated COVID-19 guidelines for the USF community that answers questions about the return. To read more about the guidelines, click here.
The Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership is recruiting mentors and mentees for its next mentorship cohort. Leadership Connect is for local professionals ready to give back and for students eager to build meaningful relationships. Applications are now open for the next cohort. What unites all participants in the program is a belief that leadership skills are as critical as technical skills. Learn more.
Business management senior Sean Schrader spent two years serving as an intern with the Office of Congressman Charlie Crist. In the fall of 2019. Schrader had the opportunity to intern with Crist's office in downtown St. Petersburg. "Although I wasn’t sure I was qualified for the position," Schrader wrote in an opinion piece in The Crow's Nest, "the short commute to work was a big selling point." Read more. 
Chessler Holdings' HUSTLE Competition Includes $250k for Student Prizes

USF students interested in owning their own business have a chance to participate in a real-world start-up venture and earn $20 per hour -- and potentially some of the company's profits -- thanks to a new $500,000 initiative and partnership between Chessler Holdings and the USF Center for Entrepreneurship.

Chessler Holdings, a Sarasota-based family investment firm that owns 20 portfolio companies in industries ranging from telematics to entertainment, is working with the center to launch HUSTLE, a college-oriented business competition designed to educate students in entrepreneurship through the real-world experience of operating a real world, start-up venture.

USF and Skanska Launch Free Mentorship Program for Small and Diverse Businesses

The University of South Florida and Skanska, a multinational construction and development company, announced earlier this month they are partnering to introduce a new mentorship program that aims to assist small and diverse businesses in the Tampa Bay region.

Facilitated through USF’s Office of Supplier Diversity, the Construction Management Building Blocks mentor-protégé program will provide subcontractors with training, development and partnership opportunities to help the companies grow and become more successful with competitive bidding processes. 

The program’s first cohort kicks off in late August. Upon completion, participants will receive a construction mentor from Skanska and a graduate student mentor from the Muma College of Business for up to six months to assist in streamlining administrative responsibilities. Participants will also be provided scholarships for a financial management program led by the Florida Small Business Development Center at USF.

Evelyne Viens, Accounting Grad, Earns Olympic Gold with Team Canada Soccer

Former USF soccer player Evelyne Viens won a gold medal with the Canadian National Team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the team defeated Sweden in the women's soccer finals.

With the win, Viens became the first former student-athlete from USF to medal at the Olympics. This is also Canada’s first time winning a gold medal in women’s soccer.

During her time with the Bulls, Viens, who majored in accounting at the Muma College of Business, broke multiple records and earned a number of awards.

Viens shattered the record for the most single-season goals in program history with 25 in her last year with the Bulls. She also holds the record for most career goals in the AAC.
She was named the AAC Tournament’s most outstanding offensive player of the year in 2019.

Viens was the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft after being selected by Sky Blue FC, who has recently changed its name to NJ/NY Gotham FC.

Florida SBDC at USF Announces 2021 Performance Award Winners

The Florida Small Business Development Center at USF hosted the 2021 Performance Awards Celebration Luncheon at Armature Works recently to honor its regional award winners.

The Florida SBDC at USF announced the following award winners:

  • Performance Excellence of the Year – Bill Burnham
  • Volunteer of the Year – Dr. Mary Armstrong
  • Student Project of the Year – eSmart Recycling, Inc. (Tony Selvaggio and University of Tampa)
  • Outstanding Resource Partner of the Year – Manatee County Economic Development (Ruth Buchanan and Bruno Kapacinskas)
  • Game Changer of the Year Nominee – The Elf Network (Stacey Dadd, Eileen Rodriguez, Yanina Rosario, Shaunda Wickham)

“It’s been a long, hard year-and-a-half due to COVID-19,” said Interim Associate Director Stacey Dadd. “We are proud to finally have the chance to recognize these individuals for all of the hard work that’s been done in the past two years. They have accomplished some amazing things in that time and Tampa Bay’s small businesses are better for their dedication and hard work.”

Faculty Spotlights
Alumni Careers
Russell Clayton, marketing instructor, recently published an ebook titled "Walt and Wellbeing, A Magical Approach to Caring for Yourself."

Eddie Sanchez, finance instructor, was quoted in a story that appeared in the Miami Herald recently about the sale of Tropicana for $3.3 billion. To read the piece, click here.
Tony Kong, an associate professor, received the Most Influential Article (2013-2016) Runner-up Award from the Academy of Management's Conflict Management Division. The award recognizes two field-defining papers within a four-year period.

Dipayan Biswas, a marketing professor, received the Outstanding Reviewer Award from the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. The award recognized Biswas' thorough, constructive and timely reviews and his efforts to improve the research appearing in the journal.

Clinton Daniel, an instructor with the School of Information Systems and Management, was quoted in a story about the tech boom in Tampa. The story appeared recently on the Fox 13 website. To view the video and read the story, click here.

Faizan Ali, who teaches in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and serves as the school’s graduate program coordinator, was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor.

Hao Wang, a marketing doctoral student, and marketing professors Anand Kumar and Doug Hughes, director of the School of Marketing and Innovation, won the 2021 James M. Comer Award for the Best Contribution to Selling and Sales Management Theory for the article: “Effectual Selling in Service Ecosystems,” published in the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management.

Jung Chul Park, an associate professor of finance, recently co-authored an article titled “Presidential Power and Stock Returns," that appeared in Financial Management.
Marcia Crawley (’89, Management) was appointed director of philanthropy at New College Foundation in Sarasota. Previously, she served as a consulting vice president of Grenzebach, Glier and Associates, a philanthropic consulting firm in Chicago.
Nathan Bruemmer (’01, Information Systems, Management) received a Tampa Bay Business Journal Business of Pride award in recognition of his efforts to advance LGBTQ+ causes in the workplace. He is president of St. Pete Pride.

Benjamin Rychel (’11, Accounting) has joined USF Advancement as a staff accountant in the Office of Business and Financial Services. Previously, he worked at Coca-Cola in Tampa as a payroll and tax accountant.

Madison Masterson (’20, Marketing) has been named one of Tampa’s top Instagram influencers by 83 Degrees. She has more than 27,000 followers and she focuses on lifestyle, creativity, music and social justice.

Ben Agosto III (’14, Finance) is now an associate handling personal injury cases for the Abraham Watkins law firm in Houston.
USF Alumni Association Seeking Outstanding Young Alumni Nominations

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award was established in 2004 to recognize alumni age 35 and younger for their professional accomplishments and engagement with the university.

To nominate a candidate, click here.

Nominations close Oct. 8. The awards will be presented in April 2022.
In Other News ...
The Tampa Bay Rays invite you to USF Day at Tropicana Field on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 1:10 p.m. when the Rays take on the Minnesota Twins. For just $38 (up to $75 value) this specially priced ticket package includes a seat in the Lower Level and a choice of a Rays/USF cobranded stainless steel tumbler or a Rays/USF cobranded hat. You can pick up your item at the Redemption Center located inside the Gate 3 concourse through the fifth inning. Groups of 10 or more will receive an additional discount, preferred seating, and a scrolling scoreboard welcome.

For more information or to place your group order call (727) 825-3205 or email rsullivan@raysbaseball.com.

Individual tickets to this event must be purchased through this website using the password USF2.

Deadline to purchase tickets is Sept. 3. For details and to order tickets, click here.
Dates to Remember
Here are some upcoming events we have planned over the summer and fall:

  • Aug. 31, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Week of Welcome, St. Petersburg campus.
  • Sept. 1, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Week of Welcome, Tampa campus.
  • Sept. 2, times TBA, Week of Welcome, Sarasota-Manatee campus.
  • Sept. 9, noon, Conversation with a CEO, featuring Mike Sutton, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco counties. The event is free, but registration for the virtual event is required. To register, click here.
  • Sept. 29, 8-9 a.m., Conversation with a CEO featuring HART CEO Adelee Le Grand at CAMLS in downtown Tampa. Watch for registration details for this free event.
  • Oct. 26, noon to 1:30 p.m., the Monica Wooden Center for Supply Chain Management and Sustainability open house will be in the Muma College of Business atrium.
  • Nov. 5, 5-8 p.m., the Muma College of Business hosts a Homecoming Watch Party.