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.

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.