New College produces some mighty results.

If you don’t mind, we need to brag a bit – because for a tiny school, New College produces some mighty results.

If you don’t mind, we need to brag a bit – because for a tiny school, New College produces some mighty results.

Year after year, we consistently attract the attention of the most prestigious arbiters of excellence in higher education, resulting in top national rankings from the likes of U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Kiplinger’s and The Princeton Review. We try not to put too much emphasis on these rankings, which are subject to a lot of variables, but it’s very nice when we make the top tier.


For the 15th consecutive year, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has recognized New College of Florida as one of the nation’s best values in higher education. The magazine ranked New College 16th on its list of the 100 best values in public colleges for 2018, up three places from 2017. Kiplinger says the colleges in its rankings “best meet our definition of value: a quality education at an affordable price.”

New College was named a Forbes Best Value College for 2018, an exclusive class of only 300 schools ranked to “help students and their families evaluate the likely return on their investment.” Forbes used a number of criteria to produce their list, including net price (tuition, fees, and room and board), average federal debt load per student, the number of Pell grant recipients, and alumni earnings.

New College of Florida is one of the nation’s 200 “Colleges That Pay You Back,” according to the 2018 edition of a book released by The Princeton Review. The book is an unranked assessment that reflects academic quality, cost to students and families, and salaries earned by graduates. New College scored well on all fronts, with  90 points of a possible 99 on the Review’s “return on investment” grade. The Review cited New College graduates’ median starting salary of $43,700 and mid-career median salary of $88,800 for students with a bachelor’s or higher degree. More than 80 percent of New College graduates go on to a master’s or doctoral degree.

New College of Florida has been ranked No. 2 in the state in LendEDU’s third annual College Risk-Reward Indicator study (2018). LendEDU has defined the risk of attending a respective four-year college or university as the average student loan debt per graduate at that institution. The reward of attending that same college or university is the average early career pay for graduates of that respective school. Average early career pay for graduates can also be defined as the median salary for alumni with 0-5 years of work experience.

New College was among the 15 percent of American colleges to make the Princeton Review’s new college guidebook, “The Best 382 Colleges” (2018). The book is based on surveys and interviews with students and administrators at several hundred four-year colleges. “We chose New College for this book because it offers outstanding academics,” said Robert Franek, the Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and author of “The Best 382 Colleges.”

We were again rated as one of The Princeton Review’s “Top Colleges That Pay You Back” in 2018. The Princeton Review also named New College of Florida one of the country’s top 50 colleges for offering students the outside-the-classroom experiences and connections that lead to great jobs or post-graduate study, according to its new book, “Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers by Going Beyond the Classroom.” The 50 schools were selected from more than 3,000 nationwide, and New College was one of two Florida schools to be selected.

Fiske Guide to Colleges (2019) named New College to its Top 10 list of “Best Buy,” public colleges in the nation based on its academic quality and affordable cost.

New College is in the second year of a five-year, $750,000 grant from the Andrew K. Mellon Foundation for managing its “Connecting the Arts and Humanities on Florida’s Creative Coast” initiative. It has enhanced the College’s contributions to public discourse on humanities and arts and helped build sustainable connections with local colleges comprising the regional Cross College Alliance (FSU/Ringling, Ringling College of Art & Design, State College of Florida, University of South Florida-Sarasota/Manatee, and NCF), founded by President Don O’Shea.

2018 Student Honors and Accolades

Fulbright Awards

Miles Iton, of Homestead, Florida, received a Fulbright Research Fellowship to Taiwan. Megan Bailey of Miramar, Florida, and Liliana Solomon of South Orange, New Jersey, received Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships, to Taiwan and Croatia, respectively.

Third-year student Lorelei Domke
is New College’s first recipient of a Freeman-ASIA award for study in China. The Freeman-ASIA program provides scholarships to American undergraduate students accepted to study abroad programs in China and Southeast Asia. Domke received the program’s maximum $5,000 award. She also received a $3,000 Gilman Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to fund her studies.

Gilman Scholars

Kathleen Conopean, a third-year double major in classics and Spanish culture from Miami, Florida, was awarded a Gilman Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for Spring 2018 study in Leon, Spain.

Summer Fellowships

Katrina Carlin, a third-year student majoring in chemistry, was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for research at the Engineering Laboratory in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This award is granted to outstanding undergrads who intend to pursue careers in science and engineering. One New College student has his research funded at a National Laboratory for summer 2018: Riley Lewis, a third year in Chemistry will do nanoscience research at Sandia National Lab in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

National Science Foundation Grants

At least 16 ​New College students received National Science Foundation REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) Grants for the summer of 2018. The students and REU institutions are: Liliana Benitiz, Environmental Studies/Spanish, Plant Disease Ecology at Flory Lab, University of Florida; Eric Brigham, Computer Science, University of Maryland; Kyle Dennison, Intelligent Multi-Modal Human to Computer Interaction Lab,University of Florida; Ozan Gokdemir, Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sarah Gonzalez, Physics & Applied Mathematics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York; Austin Gray, Computer Science, University of South Carolina; Sunwoo Ha, Computer Science, Project Design and Implementation of Visual Tools for Home Automation System, WashingtonUniversity, St. Louis, Missouri; Zachary Halladay, Mathematics,University of Chicago; Rain Kwan, Computer Science, Advanced Secured Sensor Enabling Technologies, Florida InternationalUniversity, Miami; Jake Maranzatto, Computer Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York; Amanda Markee, Biology, Taxonomic revision of a genus of Assassin flies, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.; Daniel McGinnis, Mathematics, Researching Graph Theory and Contributing to the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania; Courtney Miller, Computer Science, Carnegie MellonUniversity, Pittsburgh; Sierra Schwaback, Chemistry/ Biology, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology,University of Chicago; Elenis Spanolios, Chemistry, University of Utah; Gina Vasquez, Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Faculty Awards

When it comes to research grants, honors and awards, the New College faculty chalk up achievements out of proportion to a school our size. The students benefit, too, because they get to participate in the “real world learning” opportunities presented by the faculty’s research grants. Some recent examples include a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Army to study nanotechnology, a $375,000 grant to explore how better maize production can feed the world’s hungry, and Fulbright Fellowships to New Zealand and Mexico.

The College’s community outreach programs have won awards from the NAACP, the YMCA, Sarasota County and Better World Books.

2018 Awards

Associate Professor of Biology Jayne Gardiner secured funding form the Mote Scientific Foundation to participate in Phase 3 of “Wiring the Bay”- Developing an Acoustic Sensing Network for Sarasota Bay and Surrounding Waters. Dr. Gardiner and New College students will perform summer 2018 acoustic telemetry to detect animal movements in and out of the Bay’s passes, along the coast and offshore.

Former Provost and Professor of Music Stephen Miles and Producer of New Music New College Ron Silver secured funding from the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County through the Tourist Development Cultural/Arts Program to support NMNC’s 2018-2019 season.

For the 15th consecutive year, Professor of Biology Sandra Gilchrist again led a very impressive PUSH/SUCCESS summer program for disadvantaged middle and high school students from Sarasota and Manatee counties with external financial support from The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and Publix Supermarket Charities. Students in this 12- day June residential program completed activities studying the environment and health issues.

2017 Student Honors and Accolades

Fulbright Award

Allya Yourish, a humanities AOC from Orlando, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia. She is New College’s 85th Fulbright winner.

Yourish is a published poet and an experienced teacher, having worked in the United States and France as a private tutor and in Sarasota as a volunteer at the Robert L. Taylor Community Center. She also worked as a camp counselor, where she launched a camper-produced newspaper, a science fair and an art gallery. She speaks French, Spanish and Hebrew.

In their recommendations, faculty members called Yourish a “born leader” and a “born teacher” who demonstrates “infectious enthusiasm” and a “genuine concern for the plight of women and girls.”

At New College, Yourish was the College’s Silver Scholarship recipient, served as president of Hillel, as a member of the Diversity Committee and an officer of the Model United Nations. She also performed with the Windmill Theatre Company.

After her Fulbright year, Yourish plans to pursue a master’s degree in museum education.

Gilman Scholars

Jennyfer Gonzalez, a third-year student from Kissimmee, was awarded a Gilman Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Gonzales received her award in late fall and is currently studying in Chile at Universidad Andres Bello. She also is interning at Villa Crimaldi, a former concentration camp once used for critics of the government. She is conducting research into the history of Chile and other Latin American countries for her senior thesis at New College next year.

Jacob Cooley, a fourth-year student from Tampa graduating this May, also was the recipient of a Gilman Scholarship. Cooley studied last year in Bolivia.

Goldwater Scholarships

Caitlyn Ralph and Constance Sartor, both from Orlando, were among just 240 students nationwide – and just six at Florida colleges – to receive Goldwater Scholarships, the country’s top scholarship for undergraduates in science, math and engineering. The awards were announced in April.

The Goldwater Scholarships provide up to $7,500 in tuition support for the student’s college education for one or two years.
Ralph is a third-year computer science AOC (major) who plans to pursue a research career in the field of computational neuroscience. Sartor is a third-year biology and chemistry AOC (major) who plans to pursue a doctorate in biological and ecological engineering or ecology, conduct research on invasive species and eventually start her own ecological engineering research company.

Bates Awards

Established in 2008, the Bates Award is awarded annually to students who exhibit outstanding academic achievement through research on topics in gender studies and present their work at an academic conference. This year’s winners are Addie Allen, Jessica Brown, Sarah Scully, Charles Rowe and Shelby Statham.

Rangel Scholar

Lizabelt Avila, a third-year student from Miami, has been named a Rangel Scholar for 2017. She will study government and international relations in the Washington D.C. program this summer. The award was announced in April.

At New College, Avila is studying political science and international and area studies. This is her third national award while attending the College; she previously won a Gilman Scholarship and was named a Newman Civic Fellow.

Isermann Medalists

New College students Melissa Simmons, Cassandra Azeredo-Tseng and Sara Sheffer are the 2017 Isermann Medal winners. The program provides an opportunity for academically talented first-year students from outside the state of Florida to get hands-on research experience in mathematics and the natural sciences. The medal winners are paired with a New College professor and participate in research during their first January Interterm period at New College and during four weeks in the summer after their first year.

American Scholastic Press

The New College student newspaper, The Catalyst, won first place in the American Scholastic Press Association 2016-17 competition. The Catalyst is an academic tutorial sponsored by Professor of Anthropology Maria Vesperi. Managing the paper this year were: thesis students Pariesa Young, general editor; Guilia Heyward, managing editor.

Calusa Prizes

Six New College of Florida students recently received Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ inaugural Calusa Prizes, which recognize students’ research work at the institution. The students and their projects are: Emily Bleske, Cassandra Detrio-Darby, Elena Meyer, Iliana Moore, Kaylynn Low and Julia Pope. The Calusa Prize is part of a new collaboration between the Gardens and New College, giving students the opportunity to work with Selby Gardens professional staff on plant science, conservation and public outreach.

Faculty Awards

When it comes to research grants, honors and awards, the New College faculty chalk up achievements out of proportion to a school our size. The students benefit, too, because they get to participate in the “real world learning” opportunities presented by the faculty’s research grants. Some recent examples include a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Army to study nanotechnology, a $375,000 grant to explore how better maize production can feed the world’s hungry, and Fulbright Fellowships to New Zealand and Mexico.

The College’s community outreach programs have won awards from the NAACP, the YMCA, Sarasota County and Better World Books.

Here are some examples of recent faculty honors:

Dr. Gordon Bauer and Dr. Athena Rycyk, both specialists in the cognitive behavior of marine animals, worked with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on a two-year project designed to create audiograms mapping the hearing range of Green and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles.

The second year of Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry Steven Shipman’s grant from the National Science Foundation, for “RUI: Rapid Acquisition and Analysis of Complex Spectra with High-Speed Digitizers,” saw the creation of new data-collection methods and spectral analysis software by New College students.

Professor of Anthropology Uzi Baram was funded by the Florida Humanities Council to commemorate the destruction of an African-American fort on the Florida Gulf Coast by creating a virtual reconstruction of the site of the battle, as well as the paths that survivors took to escape.

Professor of Biology Sandra Gilchrist, funding by the e Sarasota Bay Estuary Program trained 50 local teachers on coastal resiliency, endangered coastlines, and waves and currents in another round of Teacher Workshops during the AY 2015-16.

The Sarasota String Quartet made up of string players from the Sarasota Orchestra performed new works written by New College student composers Daniel Crumpler, Jackson Hughes, Jacob Parker, and Brandt Stirling.

New College received grants from the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Emergency Management to support to address facilities maintenance and especially hurricane preparation.

Classics professor David Rohrbacher received the award for Excellence in Collegiate Teaching from the American Philological Association.

History professor Carrie Beneš was awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome.

Sociology professor Sarah Hernandez was awarded a 2008-09 Fulbright Fellowship to teach and conduct research in Mexico.

Psychology professor Gordon Bauer completed a research relating to the sensory performance of the West Indian manatee and received a new grant from the NSF for research on manatee vibrisse in collaboration with Sarasota’s Mote Marine Laboratory. He was also named a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.

Physics professor Mariana Sendova was awarded a $1.7 million grant from the Army Research lab to fund her research in nanoparticles – the largest research grant in the College’s history.

English professor Robert Zamsky received a grant from the Florida Humanities Council to support a project focusing on the historical and contemporary literary relationships between Florida and the Caribbean.

Biology professor Amy Clore was awarded a $375,000 grant from the National Science Foundation as part of a national team of researchers receiving $4 million to conduct research on endosperm production in maize.

Anthropology professor Maria Vesperi was awarded the American Anthropological Association’s Oxford Award for Undergraduate Teaching.

Political science professor Frank Alcock received a Fulbright Senior Scholar grant to study and teach in New Zealand.

English professor Miriam Wallace was selected for a summer institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities on the rule of law as it relates to the liberal arts.

History professor David Harvey was awarded a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society for his research on ideas related to human origins and racial differences.

Music professor Maribeth Clark was elected to the Council of the American Musicological Society.

Economic professor Tarron Khemraj was invited to join the Economic Council of the Alliance for Change in Guyana as an advisor on global, Caribbean and domestic issues.

Chemistry professor Steven Shipman received three grants totaling more than $200,000 over three years for research on MRI microwave spectroscopy.

French professor Amy Reid’s English translation of the book Queen Pokou: Concerto for a Sacrifice by Veronique Tadjo was named one of NPR’s Favorite Books of 2010.

Chinese Language & Culture professors Jing Zhang and Aijun Zhu both received Chinese Course Development grants from the U.S. Department of Education and helped get a grant from the Chinese government for seven students to study in China.

Biology professor Sandra Gilchrist received grants from the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program for K-12 teacher workshops and a summer science program for underprivileged middle school students. She also spearheaded a gift from the AT&T Foundation to expand the College’s marine science program for elementary and middle-school children from low-income families.