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USF Sarasota-Manatee’s International Certificate Program Wins Campus-Community Partnership Award
October 22, 2014

Through their International Certificate program, USF Sarasota-Manatee offers international students an opportunity to complete an undergraduate certificate program in Hospitality Management with an optional internship. Last year the program hosted nine Taiwanese students from Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism in Taiwan. In addition to taking classes the students were able to complete a service learning activity centered around growing local organic produce for nearby merchants.

Campus-Community Partnership Award

Pine Avenue on Anna Maria Island has become a showcase where merchants grow organic plants, and was the location of the student’s service project.  The organic plant seeds used on this street come from Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO), an organization that grows tropical vegetables and send the seeds to other groups in third–world countries, who in turn distribute the seeds and teach people there how to grow and propagate the resulting produce.

From the locally grown produce, the students were paired with several award winning chefs to create a selection of recipes that feature each of the vegetables growing in the Pine Avenue Merchant Gardens. Additionally, the students prepared and served tastings, and interacted with the public to explain the vegetables and their nutritional value.  This project won first place in the Campus-Community Partnership category of Florida Campus Compact, a state-wide award.