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Campus Insider: Help USF Sarasota-Manatee campus students during 2020 Giving Challenge today and tomorrow

By Rich Shopes

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


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Help support USF Sarasota-Manatee campus students experiencing food insecurity and financial hardship during the Giving Challenge set for today and tomorrow from noon to noon. 

The annual 24-hour fundraiser is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. During this period, The Patterson Foundation will match unique gifts from $25 up to $100. 

Click here to support the funds below: 

  • The USF Sarasota-Manatee Support-A-Bull Pantry fund provides students experiencing food insecurity with non-perishable food and personal items. 
  • The Stay the Course Scholarship fund provides emergency assistance to students who have experienced hardship that jeopardizes their ability to continue their education. 

As the economy reels from the coronavirus pandemic, students need your support more than ever for tuition, books and other college expenses. Some USF Sarasota-Manatee students also serve as heads of households and work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

“Our students are so grateful for your support,” said USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook, PhD. “Your help truly makes a difference by allowing these students to continue their studies, achieve their degrees and go out into the community. Thank you for helping our future business and community leaders.”

USF opens emergency student federal aid application

Paul Dosal, PhD, vice president of student success at USF, has issued guidance for students to apply for emergency student federal aid under the recently approved Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

In an April 27 letter to students, Dosal wrote:

USF’s leaders have been working hard with our local, state and federal partners to support you during the COVID-19 crisis. Over the weekend, USF received its $17.4 million portion of a $2.2 trillion economic relief package from the U.S. Department of Education, provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will be used for emergency student aid. 

USF will distribute the funds to assist as many of our eligible students as possible to alleviate financial hardships that may impede your academic plans. Please note that funding from the CARES Act comes with eligibility requirements as determined and enforced by the federal government. Current degree-seeking students enrolled at least half time in spring 2020 who are eligible to apply for federal Title IV financial aid are eligible to apply for CARES Act funds. Students enrolled in fully online graduate programs, international, and undocumented students are not eligible per U.S. Department of Education Guidelines.

Students with demonstrated needs who did not receive the full $1,000 maximum from the USF United Support Fund are eligible to apply for an additional CARES Act grant. Students who applied for an award from the USF United Support Fund and did not receive an award before those funds were depleted should also apply for a CARES Act grant. 

Eligible students are invited to complete the Federal CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Application for consideration for a grant, starting April 27 through Aug. 7, 2020, or until the funds are depleted. Priority will be given to FAFSA filers who have exhausted all financial aid options and who have been impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:

  • Student and/or spouse loss or reduction of employment (i.e., layoff/furlough or job loss);
  • parental loss or reduction of employment (i.e., layoff/furlough or job loss);
  • or other unexpected circumstances.

Examples of expenses eligible to be covered by CARES Act grants include, but are not necessarily limited to, medical bills, food, housing, utilities, technology, course materials, and other unexpected expenses that contribute to the student’s total cost of USF attendance.

For more information about the federal CARES Act grant and USF’s distribution of the grant, an FAQ has been created to address your questions.

We are already hearing from students whose financial situation is stable now but are concerned about their circumstances in the summer and fall. Given the unknown continued impact of the coronavirus throughout the next several months, a small portion of the federal funding for USF students will be held back for distribution to students during the summer and/or fall. 

USF is grateful to our federal leaders for providing this important CARES Act emergency funding and helping us support our students. Please explore the grant information and apply early for consideration.

Malkic presents on women in educational leadership positions at AIEA conference

More women are filling higher education leadership positions, but they continue to face obstacles while ascending to top posts on U.S. campuses, according to Amela Malkic, director of the Global Engagement Office at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus and president of the Fulbright Association’s Mid-Florida Chapter.

Malkic presented on the topic “Increasing Women Leaders in International Education” at the Feb. 16-19 conference of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) in Washington, D.C. She was joined by two colleagues, Annie Phillips, PhD, of Texas Woman’s University (Denton, Texas), and Angie Maffeo of the University of St. Francis (Joliet, Illinois).

Amela Malkic

Amela Malkic

According to the 2017 American Council on Education American College President Study, women held 30 percent of top leadership positions at colleges and universities, representing a four-percent increase from 2011.

However, the 2018 Today’s Women Leaders in International Education: A Survey Report notes that women in international education continue to confront obstacles relating to institutional and structural inequalities, gender bias, discrimination and glass ceilings, which impede their development as leaders. Gender parity in international education is higher than in traditional higher educational settings, with 48 percent of senior international officer positions held by women, according to AIEA.

One of the session’s objectives was to encourage women to take charge of their careers by creating plans to pursue and attain leadership roles they want. The interactive session informed participants about specific strategies and intentional actions to help them achieve their long-term career goals.

“Gender equality is a very important issue in our society and I was delighted to be a part of this conversation,” Malkic said. “Our session focused on increasing the number of women in senior leadership positions in higher education through programs, research and resources. The AIEA audience was very engaging.”

Additionally, Malkic has been appointed as an administration representative to the newly created USF Women’s Status Committee. This committee advises USF President Steven C. Currall, PhD, on matters relating to policies and procedures that affect educational and employment opportunities for women at USF.

USF Sarasota-Manatee campus students use technology to connect with refugees

Students in USF Sarasota-Manatee’s International Human Rights class recently learned firsthand how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting refugees worldwide.

Thanks to videoconferencing by NaTakallam, a website through which refugees deliver language-learning services, students connected with refugees in Turkey, Iraq, Uganda, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Argentina and Colombia.

“During times of national crisis, it’s easy to forget how others are faring, but coronavirus is truly a global threat with no regard to status, rank or borders,” said Jody McBrien, PhD, who teaches the class.

The videoconferencing was made possible through a USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Critical Thinking grant. The sessions enabled students to learn about the refugees’ journeys and plight as coronavirus blankets the world.

In some cases, students were inspired by stories of survival but then shocked to hear about the horrors, including rape, overcrowded conditions at some camps and illness. Many fear the extended wait to be relocated to host nations. One man talked of being a refugee for 15 years.

“I realized this was a lot more than an assignment,” student Christina Sabella said, summing up. “We see in the news all the time that people in other countries are fleeing by the millions due to cruel things and terrible ways of life. I watch the news and think, ‘Wow, that is really sad,’ but then just move on with my day. I was able to listen to someone who has experienced fleeing the country they call home. This put into perspective all of the refugee situations we see in the media.”

For more about USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit http://www.usfsm.edu.


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