Duckwall Foundation to Donate $100,000 to SCF’s Library & Learning Center

The Frank E. Duckwall Foundation has issued a challenge grant to raise money to build a Visualization Theatre classroom in the new Library & Learning Center at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF). For every $1 donated to the project through March 31, 2018 the Duckwall Foundation will donate $1 up to $100,000. The donation qualifies for another match of $200,000 from the SCF Board of Trustees and the SCF Foundation’s Board of Directors, bringing the total donation to $400,000.

The Visualization Theatre classroom, which can seat 40 students or visitors at a time, is designed to provide library users with a contemporary digital learning environment. It offers 270-degree immersive projection on three walls for 80-linear feet of display surface, zoned audio systems, cameras for real-time video capture and collaboration spaces. Students and community members who use the space can project images on all screens simultaneously or on to separate screens for small groups or individual projects. The technology will allow for high impact presentation and immersive interactive learning.

The Library & Learning Center is expected to be completed in 2018. The first installment of the grant, based on matching funds, will be distributed in March 2018. The match will apply to all new pledges, cash or securities contributions from individuals or businesses received during the challenge period.

For information or to donate to this campaign, contact Barbara Bourgoin, director of development for the State College of Florida Foundation, at or call 941-752-5398.

Scheidel Foundation Awards $10,000 Grant to SCF Studio for the Performing Arts

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) is building a new Studio for the Performing Arts with the help of a $10,000 grant from The Scheidel Foundation to kick off the $3.5 million capital campaign.

The new Studio for the Performing Arts, which will be funded largely through private donations, will be strategically joined to SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center and Howard Studio Theatre. It is being developed to support the growth of music, art and theatrical programs, and as the largest community performing arts center in Manatee County to provide an outreach to populations with limited access to such amenities.

The Studio is designed to be an inviting space for students and the community. The new $3.5 million studio will offer intimate performances, deeper learning experiences for students in practice rooms and recital areas with ideal acoustics. A nearly 6,000-square-foot recital hall will include a grand piano, performance lighting and sound system with recording capability. It will seat 175 visitors for concerts and shows. The room will be used as the primary rehearsal space for musical theatre, choral and vocal classes. It also will be ideal for SCF’s master classes, featuring visiting artists, and recitals.

A new 1,100-square-foot dance studio will offer opportunities for students to study movement and staging. The studio includes retractable curtains, moveable seating and a floor designed specifically for dance. The new facility will include 1,620-square-feet of practice rooms. An instrument storage room will allow SCF to provide professional instruments to students who might not otherwise be able to afford them, offering SCF’s music program a recruiting advantage and students an opportunity to perform at their next level.

To discuss naming rights or ways to become a benefactor, contact Barbara Bourgoin at or 941-752-5398.

SCF Alumna Uses Biotech Research as Springboard for New College Degree

Kristine Cerbone, a State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) alumna, took the research she did at SCF and used it as a springboard for her undergraduate thesis to graduate from New College of Florida.

Cerbone earned an Associate in Science in biotechnology in 2014 and went on to graduate from SCF with an Associate in Arts in 2015. She transferred to New College in the Fall of 2015 where she studied biology. At SCF she worked with Dr. Matthew Kierle and team on a project aimed to identify southwest Florida fungi.  Cerbone used techniques learned in the biotechnology program to extract DNA from mushrooms and which helped lead to the identification of the specimen. She involved the entire biotech class in working to isolate the DNA to a specific group or species of mushroom.

Her thesis defense at New College focused on the procedures she discovered that identified the fungi down to the family classification with a 90 percent accuracy rate. In successfully defending her undergraduate thesis, Cerbone showed that to identify the species she would need to refine some of her techniques. She said defending the thesis was a nerve-racking experience, but she felt well prepared. Her professors had critiqued her research all along and that taught her to stay calm during her defense. She also said Brad Oberle, a New College professor and botanist on her thesis committee, was particularly interested in fungi and said he had learned a lot from her research.

Cerbone worked at SCF while she was a student at New College. It was both rewarding and challenging, she said, especially because she was taking 16 credit hours per semester. She is working part time at SCF until she is ready to go to graduate school where she would like to get involved in cancer research. At SCF she works as a laboratory assistant, preparing material and agents for science classes, including biology and biotech. Cerbone said she loves the collaboration at SCF, from being a student here to working in the lab.

“The teamwork here is amazing,” Cerbone said. “We all back each other up on tasks to get them done.”

For more information on SCF’s biotech program, contact Matt Thomas at or 941-752-5624.

Huisking Family Foundation Donates $10,000 for Digital Production Studio

The Huisking Family Foundation has donated $10,000 to the State College of Florida Foundation toward building a Digital Production Studio in the new SCF Library & Learning Center. The $10,000 pledge qualifies for a SCF Trustee/Director match, making the donation a total of $20,000.

The Digital Production Studio is integral to students who study filmmaking and digital production at SCF and will provide students with the tools they need to succeed. The equipment will be state-of-the-art and the space will allow for individual projects and collaboration. SCF alumni include artists who have studied film and digital production at the College and have taken their talents to Hollywood, including screenwriter Mike Le and cinematographer Ryan Bodie.

The Huisking Family Foundation primarily supports arts and culture, education, the environment, animal protection, hospitals, health and human services and religious purposes. The foundation was established to perpetuate and preserve the memory of the late Lieut. Frank R. Huisking, who served as co-captain of a B-24 bomber during World War II and was lost, along with his crew, when the bomber went down over Italy in 1944.

SCF, Manatee-Sarasota Purchases 74 acres – Future Home of SCF Parrish

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) has purchased 74 acres in Parrish to build a new campus in alignment with SCF President Dr. Carol Probstfeld’s first strategic priority. Aimed at increasing the College’s physical presence in the rapid growth area east of I-75 and north of the Manatee River, SCF Parrish is located at 11680 Erie Road, Parrish, FL 34219.

“The new Parrish campus will provide those living north of the Manatee River an open access institution for enhancing their skills and furthering their education,” said Probstfeld. “SCF plans to offer general education courses leading to an A.A. degree as well as workforce degrees and certificates that are relevant and will benefit students and employers in the region.”

The population in SCF’s new service area is nearly 40,000 and continually increasing, according to county data. The Manatee County School Board has purchased 95 acres directly across the street from the SCF property to build a new 334,000-square-foot high school to open in 2019. SCF Parrish will be easily accessible to students, meeting another strategic priority of increasing student enrollment and retention rates. It also will provide accessibility and expanded opportunities for dual enrollment students.

“SCF will collaborate with the community to make sure SCF Parrish meets the needs of the surrounding area and our greater Manatee and Sarasota communities,” added Probstfeld.

The addition of SCF Parrish has been the vision of President Probstfeld since her inauguration in November 2013. This vision foresees SCF being at the center of the economic, educational and cultural life of the community. SCF’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan also sets bold goals that ensure open access to all students, a concierge-style student experience and curriculum and programs responsive to workforce needs.

Walmart Donates $2,500 for Veteran Services at SCF

The Walmart store at 6225 State Road 64 E. in Bradenton 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 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 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.

Together Manatee Donates $25,000 for SCF’s Library & Learning Center

Together Manatee has donated $25,000 to the State College of Florida Foundation for construction of a community room in the new Library & Learning Center at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF), Bradenton campus. The donation qualifies for matching funds from the Foundation’s Board of Directors and SCF’s Board of Trustees, bringing the total donation for the community room to $50,000.

The “Together Manatee” community room will be a place that brings the campus and community together for creative, cultural and academic experiences. The space will showcase programs that highlight learning, research, culture and creativity. The room also includes multiple visual displays, LED monitors, teleconferencing and video/audio capture. Two large white video screens and high definition laser short throw projectors for large group projection will be available.

The space, designed for community use, can split into two rooms with a maximum capacity of 100 each or one large space for a maximum of 200. There is an attached kitchenette for catering and a separate entrance to the lobby and bathrooms so the room can be accessed even when the library is closed.

“Together Manatee made the grant as an ongoing part of their commitment to create a better Manatee County community through both philanthropy and project based gifts,” said Darren Haimer, general manager and vice president of advertising for the Bradenton Herald and Together Manatee board member. “The SCF donation is one of many community projects the board has supported with organizations and nonprofits such as the Manatee Performing Arts Center, Manatee Community Foundation, and Pace Center for Girls.”

For information or to support SCF Foundation’s capital campaign, contact Barbara Bourgoin, Director of Development for the State College of Florida Foundation, at or call 941-752-5398.

Community Foundation of Sarasota Awards Grant for SCF Nursing School Equipment

The Arthur T. Esslinger Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota has donated $2,284 in an immediate impact grant to allow the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) to purchase Otoscopes/Ophthalmoscope Diagnostic Kits that will allow nursing students to master skills of patient physical assessments for Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) and eye ailments. The new kits will be available to students, faculty and lab personnel at the SCF Lakewood Ranch Nursing Simulation Center.

These diagnostic kits are critical tools. They enable nurses to perform efficient exams and accurate assessments for a full range of patient conditions from runny noses and sore throats to diabetes and hypertension. BSN nursing students will actively practice ENT and eye assessments using these kits in real-life teaching scenarios. The kits also will help BSN nursing students gain skills in using clinical reasoning.

The college has 14 kits for more than 90 students who need access to them this semester. The grant will help SCF purchase an additional four kits. Training on the kits will have an immediate impact on the quality of nurse preparation as SCF graduates begin clinical training. Most of our nursing graduates stay in the area upon graduation working in our local hospitals, medical offices and nursing homes.

To help purchase equipment for any of SCF’s programs, contact Barbara Bourgoin at or call 941-752-5398.

SCF Nursing Program Receives Donation to Purchase IV Infusion Pumps

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation has awarded a grant in the amount of $2,579 to State College of Florida Foundation to allow State college of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) to purchase four IV infusion pumps for the Medical Technology and Simulation Center at SCF Lakewood Ranch.

The new IV pumps will allow the nursing program 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 such experiences in a safe and controlled simulated clinical environment, the better prepared SCF nursing graduates will be.

SCF offers the most comprehensive, quality, affordable and accessible nursing education in the area. Because of the community support and outstanding faculty, SCF Associate in Science in Nursing (ASN) graduates typically outperform state and national averages on the National Council Licensure Exam – NCLEX RN for Registered Nurses.

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund is a component of Manatee Community Foundation and has awarded more than $1 million since 2002 to enhance the quality of life for those who live in and around Lakewood Ranch.

To donate to SCF’s nursing program or for more information, contact Barbara Bourgoin, director of development for the State College of Florida Foundation, at

Engineering Students Attend Unveiling of Gator Den at SCF

The first students accepted into Gator Engineering at State College of Florida, Manatee Sarasota (SCF) joined the ribbon cutting celebration for the new Gator Den, a study area for the students who have been accepted into the University of Florida Gator Engineering at SCF program.

Students, faculty, donors and representatives from the University of Florida were on hand as SCF President Dr. Carol Probstfeld kicked off the celebration at SCF Venice. Participating in the Gator Engineering program was the “easiest yes” of her presidency, she said.

“The aspect of this program that really excites me is the ability for these students to build and maintain their ties to our region through internships and the relationships they develop with our local companies,” Dr. Probstfeld said. “With our partners at the UF Innovation Station these Gator Engineering students will be able to find local opportunities and bring their skills back to our region after they finish in Gainesville.”

Gator Engineering develops pathways for students to be admitted to UF’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering while starting their education at SCF. The students take their coursework at SCF until they complete their necessary math and science courses and then move to the UF campus to continue their engineering education. 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.

The program wouldn’t be successful without community support. SCF Foundation worked with the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to help make the program a success. The Barancik foundation gave $60,000 to the program and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation gave $10,000 for the Gator Den. In addition, DTC Engineering created a scholarship for Gator Engineering and Engineering Technology students through its Altura Family Foundation. In addition, the company plans to hire interns from the program.