National Nonprofit Day Offers an Opportunity to Support SCF Students

A steady stream of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) students, staff and faculty visit SCF’s Foundation in the weeks before school begins. The Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises the money for student scholarships and capital projects that directly impact learning at SCF.

The Foundation will be busy on National Nonprofit Day, recognized on Aug. 17, as Cassandra Holmes, executive director of the SCF Foundation, participates in the ribbon cutting for Gator Engineering at SCF. The Foundation’s efforts helped pay for a Gator Den for students in the new engineering program. The Foundation’s Board of Directors worked with the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to pay for the space and are still working to raise another $130,000.

It’s been a busy year for the Board as they continue to raise money for the new Library & Learning Center under construction at SCF Bradenton and have begun to promote new projects, including a $3.5 million Studio for Performing Arts and a $6 million Health & Human Performance Center. Through its work, the nonprofit Foundation focuses on supporting students as they further their education or obtain workforce training. A recent economic impact study for Manatee and Sarasota counties shows that students’ success at SCF results in more than 7,700 jobs in the community.

The SCF Foundation receives nearly 3,000 scholarship applications every year and awards about 900 scholarships across every discipline.

For more information or to donate, contact Holmes at or 941-752-5654.

Sam’s Club Donates $2,500 for Veteran Services at SCF

Sam’s Club on Cattlemen Road in Sarasota has donated $2,500 to provide new technology for the Veteran Services Program at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF).

Veteran Services at SCF serves about 300 students a year, providing them access to a structured college environment that includes college advising teams, full-time advisors, veterans’ support networks and customized coursework.

The Veteran Services Center provides technology assistance and the updated computers provided through the grant from Sam’s Club and Walmart Community Fund will be used to access vital online veteran resources, such as VA benefits, scholarship opportunities, career information, upper-level transfer services, veterans’ health and wellness services, and transportation access.

G.I. Jobs magazine has consistently named SCF a Military Friendly School, ranking SCF in the top 20 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools.

To learn more about Veteran Services at SCF, visit To make a donation to the Veteran Services Program contact the State College of Florida Foundation at 941-752-5390.

SCF Foundation Welcomes Three New Board Members

The State College of Florida Foundation welcomes three new board members. Joining the board are Dianne Anderson, Robert Klingbeil and Barbara Najmy.

Klingbeil, of Venice, joined the board in April. He is a native of Florida and graduate of the University of Florida’s law school. His law firm, Klingbeil & Roberts, P.A., has been serving the Venice area since 1993. He concentrates in the area of estate planning and guardianship and also does general corporate work. Klingbeil is an active member of Grace United Methodist Church and the Sertoma Club of Venice, serving as club president. He is past president of the Kiwanis Club of Venice, past president and member of the board of directors of the South County Family YMCA, and is the past president and a current board member of the South County Division of the Sarasota County Bar Association.

Anderson, an associate with Remax Platinum Realty, joins the board May 17. She grew up in Orlando and went to Furman University in Greenville, S.C. She began her career as a financial advisor, and has served as a volunteer, mentor and fundraiser in education throughout her career. She has coached youth sports and serves on the executive committee of the YMCA Going for the Gold. She also volunteers as a Y Angel, providing outreach, support and funding to children in need.

Najmy, a lifelong resident of the Sarasota area, also joins the board May 17. She has a diverse professional background, including real estate, marketing, high-end retail, sales and management, and new home construction. She joined Michael Saunders & Company in 2003 and has brokered some of the area’s top luxury sales, including closing the highest single sale in the company’s Lakewood Ranch office. She and her husband, Joe, have a strong sense of community. They are both longtime board members of the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, and Najmy supports and chairs fundraisers for Easter Seals of Southwest Florida and Jewish Family & Children’s Services.

DTC Engineering Creates Scholarship Program

DTC Engineering has created a scholarship for Gator Engineering and Engineering Technology students at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF). The Atluru Family Foundation scholarship is designed to encourage students to apply to the Gator Engineering program and comes with the opportunity to apply for a paid internship with DTC Engineering.

In Florida, DTC Engineering hires professionals in civil, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering. The company uses Computer Aided Design (AUTOCAD), Building Information Modeling (BIM), and Graphical Information Systems (GIS) software to accurately generate engineering models and visual schematics.

During the first year, SCF plans to offer four $500 scholarships. Eligible students must be enrolled at SCF and have taken the Auto CAD and Revit courses during the first year. The Gator Engineering program is open to 10 students the first year, in addition students in the Engineering Technology program may apply.

The program, with its smaller class sizes and supportive cohort of fellow students, offers advantages to ensure student success. As part of the concierge services, students receive dedicated support with an SCF advisor and access to UF departmental advisors dedicated to the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.

Scholarships offer opportunities for first generation college students and adults returning to college. Grants and awards help pay for the program’s technology, tutoring and advisors. Shay Atluru, president and CEO of DTC Engineering, will be the featured donor speaker at the SCF Scholarship Luncheon on Nov. 1.

Hospital Volunteers of Venice Awards SCF Nursing Student $5,000 Scholarship

The Hospital Volunteers of Venice presented a $5,000 Excellence in Nursing Scholarship to State College of Florida, Manatee Sarasota (SCF) nursing student Kathrine Satterley, May 5 during the nurses pinning ceremony at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center.

Satterley, who earned her Associate in Nursing, has been taking classes toward her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at SCF Venice while working full time. She also is active in the Venice community, volunteering for the St. Francis Animal Shelter.

“We believe SCF is one of the premier nursing schools, especially when it comes to quality and cost,” said Dick Fenstermaker, past president of Hospital Volunteers of Venice, during the nurses pinning ceremony.

Fenstermaker said Satterley’s work, dedication and leadership abilities helped her earn the scholarship.

“This grant recognizes the importance of skilled nursing services and it enables the best and the brightest to become leaders,” Fenstermaker said. “Kathrine has the leadership potential we want to recognize.”

For more information on the SCF nursing program, visit For more information on establishing scholarships, contact Allison Nash, scholarship coordinator, at For information on Hospital Volunteers of Venice, visit

Manatee Healthcare System Awards SCF Nursing Student $5,000 Scholarship

Manatee Healthcare System presented a $5,000 scholarship for excellence in nursing to a top nursing student at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF), May 5 at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center.

Vernon DeSear, vice president of Marketing for Manatee Healthcare System, presented the Excellence in Nursing Scholarship to Ashley Eickelman, a nursing student who exemplifies community spirit through her years of volunteering at Manatee Memorial Hospital before deciding to become a nurse.
DeSear said he first met Eickelman as a volunteer and that he was delighted to see she had decided to pursue a nursing career.

Eickelman began volunteering because she wanted to experience first-hand what nursing was all about. After volunteering in the labor and delivery unit as well as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she immediately began her pre-requisite courses and was accepted into the nursing program in 2016. She has a 3.68 grade point average and plans to continue her studies beyond her Associate in Science degree.

“I have the privilege of seeing many of you as you’re making your rounds and learning,” DeSear said during the nurses pinning ceremony. “I am so proud of your commitment to caring for patients.”

DeSear said Manatee Healthcare System is proud of its partnership with SCF and the SCF Foundation. The healthcare corporation has provided student internships, scholarships and program funding. This year, the Manatee Memorial Hospital Excellence in Nursing Scholarship recognizes the accomplishments of “The Best SCF Nursing Student” residing in Manatee County.

For more information on the nursing program at SCF, visit For more information on establishing scholarships, contact Allison Nash, scholarship coordinator, at For more information on Manatee Healthcare Systems, visit

Pat Kuebler Memorial Scholarship Award Recognizes Dedication and Patient Care

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) nursing student Arianna Orozco-Schedlen was awarded the Pat Kuebler Memorial Scholarship during the nurses pinning ceremony Friday, May 5, at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center.

Four dozen graduating nurses received their nursing pins during the ceremony. Along with fellow nurses on stage and in the audience, the graduates recited the International Pledge for Nurses. The pinning ceremony included a welcome from Dr. Beverly Hindenlang, SCF’s dean of nursing and health professions. Dick Fenstermaker, president of Hospital Volunteers of Venice, and Vernon DeSear, vice president of Marketing for Manatee Healthcare System, made presentations.

Cassandra Holmes, executive director of the State College of Florida Foundation, presented the award to Orozco-Schedlen, who had perfect attendance through her four semesters of clinicals.

Pat Kuebler was an assistant administrator in charge of nursing for Sarasota Memorial Hospital before she came to teach at Manatee Junior College, now SCF. While teaching for four years she had a profound effect on her students. She died in 1981 from cancer. In 1985, the nursing department of Manatee Memorial Hospital, made up of many of her former students, established the scholarship in her name for students who exemplify her character, compassion and dedication to nursing.

Orozco-Schedlen is consistently excellent in the clinical setting and actively seeks learning opportunities, Holmes said. She has taken full advantage of her “field trips” to other units or to observe procedures. She has excellent bedside manner, compassion and critical thinking skills. During her first clinical, she was caring for a patient with shingles who did not want a student – or anyone else – to bathe her. Orozco-Schedlen was able to determine the patient was afraid the student or nursing assistant would contract her shingles. She explained the contact precaution procedures and reassured the patient, who finally agreed to be bathed. It is for that sort of dedication and compassion that the scholarship is awarded.

For information about SCF’s nursing program, visit For more information on creating a memorial scholarship contact Cassandra Holmes, executive director SCF Foundation, at

Plantation Community Foundation of Venice Awards Grant to SCF Nursing

The Plantation Community Foundation of Venice, Florida has awarded State College of Florida Foundation a $2,800 grant to purchase IV infusion pumps for the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota nursing program in Venice.

The Plantation Community Foundation met a vital need to purchase IV infusion pumps, which will allow the nursing program to upgrade training and to offer additional student practice. Infusion pumps offer significant advantages over manual administration of fluids, including the ability to deliver fluids in very small volumes and at precisely programmed rates or automated intervals. They can deliver nutrients or medications, such as insulin or other hormones, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs and pain relievers.

Nursing students gain in-demand skills using the IV infusion pumps, which are incorporated into training scenarios to replicate a wide range of real-life healthcare situations in medical facilities. The IV infusion pumps can be used to teach nursing students to develop consistent habits of responsible practice to avoid life-threatening medical dispensing errors. The more SCF can provide real-life experiences in a safe and controlled simulated clinical environment, the better prepared SCF nursing graduates will be.

The Plantation Community Foundation of Venice is composed of residents of Venice’s Plantation community and surrounding neighborhoods, and members and employees of the Plantation Golf and Country Club, whose mission is to improve the quality of life in South Sarasota County.

Medical equipment for the nursing program are among the most expensive items the college must purchase for teaching. SCF offers nursing classes at its three campuses and online. To donate to the program or for more information, contact Cassandra Holmes, executive director of the State College of Florida Foundation, at

Couple Creates Nursing Scholarship in Memory of Infant Son

A Manatee County couple has created a nursing scholarship at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) in memory of their infant son, who was born prematurely and died December 27, 2016 after 190 days of life.

The David Skinner Gerstenberger Memorial Bachelor of Science Nursing Scholarship honors the nurses who helped care for David and was established to help other nurses advance their careers. David was born prematurely on Father’s Day last June and was flown from Sarasota Memorial Hospital to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg within hours of his birth. David was diagnosed with Pfeiffer syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by premature fusion of certain skull bones. David went through 20 procedures, including operations for a tracheostomy, gastrostomy and removal of granulomas. He spent most of his life breathing through a ventilator.

His parents, Stephanie Skinner and Thomas Gerstenberger, worked closely with David’s nurses to learn how to care for their baby. They learned how to do everything from cleaning his tracheostomy to caring for his eyes. They formed a bond with the nurses and other families at All Children’s Hospital and are still in touch with them. After their son died, one of the ways they decided to give back was through the SCF scholarship for nursing students. Skinner and Gerstenberger both graduated from SCF and knew about the nursing school’s outstanding reputation.

They give back in other ways as well through volunteering for Ronald McDonald House; High Risk Hope, an organization that helps mothers through high-risk pregnancies; and at All Children’s Hospital. As difficult as the loss of their son was, they find joy in giving back to those who are struggling. They also are looking forward to seeing who gets the nursing scholarship and watching that person succeed.

Contact Allison Nash, SCF Foundation scholarship coordinator, at or 941-752-5633 to contribute to the scholarship.

Florida VFW Creates Endowed Scholarship for Combat Veterans

The Department of Florida Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has created an endowed scholarship at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) for combat veterans taking classes at SCF. The $25,000 endowed scholarship was a VFW project led by Amber Putnam, immediate past state commander.

Putnam chose a year-long service project and decided to focus on the future for younger veterans. She chose SCF because she wanted to focus on a college that had strong ties to the community. She was impressed that SCF had three campuses, making it convenient, and also saw Manatee and Sarasota as a good area for returning veterans.

“One of our core causes is to help veterans reintegrate after being on the battlefield,” Putnam said. “They are the future of VFW and the community. We want to offer them help in getting an education so that they can continue to contribute.”

Putnam worked with a team of VFW members, but had enormous help from VFW posts in Manatee and Sarasota counties. She said Mike Clinesmith of Post 9226 in Ellenton helped make sure they met their $25,000 goal, even passing the hat at the very end when they were short.

“I felt really honored and humbled that everyone else wanted to see that goal met,” Putnam said.

To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must be enrolled a minimum of six semester hours at SCF, with a minimum 2.25 grade point average and pursuing an Associate in Arts, an Associate of Science, a Bachelor of Applied Science or a Bachelor of Science degree. They must be an honorably discharged veteran who is eligible for VFW membership, be accepted or enrolled in a public service program at SCF and be a Florida resident.