SCF Paralegal Program Celebrates its 40th Anniversary

(Bradenton, Fla., November 26, 2014) — As the area’s oldest and largest provider of education and training for legal support staff, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota’s (SCF) Paralegal/Legal Assistant Program celebrated its 40th anniversary at Marina Jack in Sarasota on Nov. 10.

More than 100 SCF administrators, paralegal faculty, advisory committee members, alumni, and paralegals and attorneys from the community attended the event, which was hosted by the Suncoast Chapter of the Paralegal Association of Florida (PAF).

SCF Paralegal Program Manager Suzanne Bechtol thanked the community for partnering with Manatee Junior College, Manatee Community College and SCF since the program began 40 years ago.

“Thank you for playing an important role in enhancing students’ education by providing rich and meaningful experiences through mentoring, internships and job opportunities. Together, we will continue the tradition of offering an accessible and affordable education to paralegals in our community,” Bechtol said.

Circuit Court Judge Charles E. Williams praised SCF’s Paralegal Program for its long history of meeting the area’s needs for skilled legal assistants.

“As a judge, I recognize the very important work you do to support attorneys by preparing paralegals in our community and look forward to the SCF Paralegal Program continuing for 40 years and beyond,” Williams said.

Gary Russell, SCF vice president of academic affairs, presented the Still the One Award to SCF Paralegal Program alumna Stella Mason for her contributions to SCF, the community and the paralegal profession. Mason, a paralegal with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni and Walsh, is a 1989 SCF alumna who performed extensive research and helped develop the college’s curriculum. She also served as an SCF adjunct instructor.

“SCF professors were so giving and caring that I felt it was important to give back,” Mason said. “SCF offers an excellent education to students because it has a pulse on the needs of the community.”

Other program participants were Patricia DeRamus, president of the PAF; Marcia Muldoon, certified paralegal, Matthews Eastmoore Attorneys, and president of the Suncoast chapter of the PAF; Ellen Wile, advanced certified paralegal and president of the Southwest Florida Paralegal Association; Daisy Vulovich, associate vice president of SCF career and technical education; Barry Puett, SCF chair, social and behavioral sciences; and Cassandra Holmes, executive director, SCF Foundation.

Dr. Mike Mears, SCF vice president of strategic initiatives, served as the emcee of the event.

SCF Paralegal Program partners included Jan Jung, executive director of the Sarasota County Bar Association, SCF Foundation, Sarasota County Bar Association, Southwest Florida Paralegal Association, Legal of Aid of Manasota, Suncoast Chapter of the Paralegal Association of Florida and the Paralegal Association of Florida. Palm Printing of Sarasota generously donated wine glasses etched with the paralegal anniversary logo.

SCF Paralegal Alumni Association
Circuit Court Judge Charles E. Williams; Venice attorney Skip Berg, chair of SCF’s Paralegal
Program advisory committee; Jan Jung, executive director, Sarasota County Bar Association;
Marcia Muldoon, certified paralegal, Matthews Eastmoore Attorneys, and president of the Suncoast
chapter of the Paralegal Association of Florida; Suzanne Bechtol, SCF Paralegal Program manager;
and Patricia DeRamus, president, Paralegal Association of Florida.

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