Kalea Benson - 2016
Kalea Benson was named a Boren Awards recipient for 2016. For the Fall 2016/Spring 2017 year, Kalea will study Chinese language, history, and culture at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China. Kalea, a senior majoring in International Studies, is looking forward to learning about China’s foreign policy and modern day issues, as well as America’s foreign relations with China, and how these events affect the future of Sino-American relations.
Kalea is an officer of Project Pengyou, an on campus club designed to create a space for Sino-American cross cultural immersion. She hopes to return to campus and inspire a generation of new “U.S.-China bridge builders” and to engage in knowledge and cultural exchanges beyond the classroom.
After graduation, Kalea intends to serve in an area of national security as a Foreign Language Translator, as well as pursue a dual Master’s in Foreign Service and Public Policy. During her time abroad, Kalea will increase her fluency in Mandarin, deepen her knowledge of Chinese culture, forge long-lasting friendships, and cultivate a better understanding of U.S.-China relations from an immersive perspective.
Maie Khalil - 2016
Maie Khalil was selected as a Frost Scholar which allows her to pursue a 1-year Master of Science in Medical Anthropology at the University of Oxford. She will travel to the United Kingdom in September to begin exploring how culture, the structural environment, and biology interact to produce health and disease.
After completing her Master degree, she will pursue a PhD in Biological Anthropology in the US. Maie hopes to work with a public health agency such as the WHO or the CDC, or an academic research position at a university.
In addition to her studies at Oxford, Maie currently works with USF anthropology professor Dr. Elizabeth Miller on research involving the evolutionary implications of anemia on pregnancy.
Stephanie Radu - 2016
Stephanie Radu was awarded a Gilman Scholarship to fund her study abroad trip with USF in Spain. Her 6-week program focuses around Spanish language study and cultural experiences. Stephanie is currently applying to Medical School and would like to work as a physician scientist whose research centers around fetal surgery.
During her sophomore year, Stephanie founded the student organization Hope for the Homeless, which raised $3000 for care packages for the homeless during its first year. In addition to volunteering, she performs research in neuroscience and clinical neonatology, surfs competitively, and has ridden for the USF equestrian team.
Sanil Reddy - 2016
Sanil Reddy was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship to study Hindi in 2015 and again in 2016. He is studying advanced level Hindi in Jaipur, Rajasthan at the America Institute of Indian Studies this summer. After graduating, Sanil plans on enrolling in medical school and utilizing his CLS experience during rotations abroad or shadowing opportunities in India.
He aspires to become a regional medical officer (RMO) for the U.S. Department of State will be an opportunity to further incorporate Hindi in my career. He would like to be a traveling physician for ambassadors and U.S. embassy employees around the world, and also spend time assisting underprivileged populations via mobile clinics, where my language skills would be necessary.
After CLS, he will pursue the Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) at the National Institute of Health (NIH), specifically the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). He will intern in a laboratory in Phoenix, AZ that analyzes data from longitudinal studies addressing the Pima Native Americans’ susceptibility to diabetes and childhood obesity.
Michael Calzadilla - 2015
Mr. Michael Calzadilla, a recent Honors College alumnus has been named a Gates Cambridge Scholar for 2015. He is the first USF recipient of this scholarship and only 1 of 40 selected from the US. This global scholarship, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provides funding for graduate work at Cambridge University for intellectually outstanding students who have a capacity for leadership and a commitment to improving the lives of others. Applicants must be accepted into Cambridge University first, before being considered for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. At Cambridge Michael will study for an MPhil in Astronomy with Drs. A. Fabian and V. Belokurov. He intends to earn a PhD in Astrophysics and become a professor of physics destined for a career of research, instruction, and outreach. He will specifically study the co-evolution of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and their host galaxies at various wavelengths. Michael graduated in May with his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. He is a 2014 recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship for research science. In 2015, he also received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship. Michael’s Honors College thesis was the launching of an interdisciplinary project on the USF Tampa campus to build a radio telescope, in order to make observations of the Milky Way or other astronomical objects such as the sun, and in effect establishing more of an astrophysical presence on campus. He recruited students from physics, electrical engineering, and computer science to join the effort and received funding from the Deans of Arts and Sciences as well as the Honors College. Besides the project, Michael also revived a Physics Club on campus, played violin in the Honors orchestra, and enjoys boxing, running, and traveling.
Kaitlin Deutsch - 2015
Ms. Kaitlin Deutsch of the University of South Florida has been awarded a Frost Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GFRP) Fellowship. The Frost Scholarship funds current students of the State University System of Florida (SUSF) to study one-year, full-time master’s courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (‘STEM’ subjects) at the University of Oxford. The Frost Scholarship will allow Kaitlin to complete an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management at the University of Oxford. Completion of this graduate program will equip her with indispensable strategies to effectively transform conservation science into tangible policy throughout her career as a researcher. Kaitlin graduated in May 2015 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Biology and Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy. Kaitlin conducted fieldwork and lab studies with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Wildlife Research Center, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the USDA Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE). In 2014, Kaitlin was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the most prestigious undergraduate award for scientific research. Kaitlin was a member of the USF Student Environmental Association and the founder and director of the Roots & Shoots Chapter at USF (Dr. Jane Goodall’s youth engagement program for solving community environmental problems). The USF Roots and Shoots Chapter has extensively collaborated with USF administration, faculty, community members and local educators to organize and support the construction of a Pollinator Garden and a Hydroponic Vegetable Garden at Pizzo Elementary School. As the undergraduate project manager for both of these gardens, Kaitlin has helped to foster a sense of environmental stewardship both on-campus and at Pizzo Elementary School.
Pacia Diaz - 2015
Ms. Pacia Diaz, a PhD student in Engineering, has been awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to Spain to continue her doctoral research examining the climate conditions impacting water supply and water management strategies within two river basins in central Spain. Pacia is 1 of only 24 students to receive a full grant to Spain under the Fulbright program this year. Pacia’s research will explore climate impacts on water supply and infrastructure within these river basins in the Iberian Peninsula as this location is among those most likely to be affected by climate change in Europe. This research can provide valuable lessons toward climate resilience for cities following similar trajectories of water scarcity. The research will be done through the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona under the guidance of Dr. Joan David Tábara. After Pacia returns to the United States, she will defend her doctoral dissertation and in the future, plans to continue water supply resilience research as well as teach in academia. Pacia received her master’s degree and bachelor’s degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of South Florida. Pacia is a member of USGBC (United States Green Building Council), ARCSA (American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association) and was one of the committee members for the 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers Tampa Bay Infrastructure Report Card. She was recently named an American Water Works Association Policy Intern and has in the past been awarded a S-STEM Graduate Fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship, and USF Signature Research Doctoral Fellowship.
Nia Jackson - 2015
Ms. Nia Jackson, an alumna, has been named Rangel Graduate Fellowship recipient. Nia is the first USF recipient of the Rangel Graduate Fellowship and 1 of only 30 students in the United States to receive the award. The fellowship gives up to $47,500 annually for two years of graduate educational expenses, a paid internship on Capitol Hill and with a U.S. Embassy overseas, mentoring, and a minimum five year appointment as a Foreign Service Officer. Nia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from USF in May 2014. She is a previous Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) recipient and during summer 2014, spent eight weeks in Tangier Morocco immersed in Arabic language instruction and the culture of the Middle East. During her time at USF she was a USF Ambassador, Social Actions Chair for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, a Senator for Student Government and First Vice President of the National Council of Negro Women. She has served as a Legislative Intern for the Office of State Representative Janet Cruz, and as a participant of the Tallahassee Internship Program, she was a Government Affairs Intern assigned to Robert M. Levy and Associates. Currently living in Washington DC, Nia has also served as Communications Intern for US Senator Jeff Merkley, as part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Nia will pursue a graduate degree in International Communications at American University in Washington, DC. She looks forward to becoming a Public Diplomacy Officer, and she values self-discovery and global citizenship. Thus, Nia believes that student and professional exchanges are the biggest drivers to breaking down culture misconceptions and national differences.
Moe Maung - 2015
Mr. Moe Maung of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) has been awarded a Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in South Korea during the summer 2015 semester. He will be studying genetics and physics at Yonsei University. Moe is looking forward to working with the esteemed faculty and collaborating with students on research in Seoul, a leader in technology, science, and social innovation. Moe, a junior majoring in Biology, recently participated in a seven month Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Mote Marine. The partnership between Mote Marine and USFSM generated a unique pathway for Moe to interact with aspiring researchers, chemical analysts, and scientists. Moe worked as a chemical analyst and caretaker of several Acropora cervicornus coral as part of the Mote Marine’s Ocean Acidification Program. His team’s goal was to determine the best environmental conditions to promote healthy growth for coral restoration. Moe is very thankful to his Mote mentor, Dr. Emily R. Hall. Moe is looking forward to establishing connections with international students from around the globe in Seoul. While abroad, Moe intends to foster a pen-pal program between American and South Korean students to break racial barriers and embrace the cultural differences. In the future, Moe would like to pursue a doctorate and career in genetics. As a first-generation college student, he also hopes his academic aspirations will continue to make his family proud.
Stephen Peck - 2015
Mr. Stephen Peck has been awarded a Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in Costa Rica during the summer 2015 semester. Stephen will be learning the fundamentals of Spanish at a university in Costa Rica and he is grateful for the unique opportunity to practice his Spanish with his host family. Stephen, a junior majoring in Geology, transferred to USF from Hillsborough Community College. He is a member of the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, where he has served the community, the campus, and fraternity through service projects at soup kitchens, special needs sport events, and the local zoo and aquarium. Stephen was recently elected as the Relay for Life leader and Bulls for Kids leader of Alpha Phi Omega. Upon graduation from USF, Stephen plans to go to medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon or a reconstructive plastic surgeon. He knows that learning Spanish in Costa Rica will be beneficial for him as he hopes to be a bilingual surgeon who is able to communicate with all of his patients. Studying abroad is a dream come true for Stephen. As he reflects, “Traveling and studying abroad is something that I have always dreamed about, but I have never had the resources to do so. The Gilman Scholarship, however, has made it possible for me to go on this journey, and I will forever be grateful.”
Eli Ponder-Twardy - 2015
Mr. Eli Ponder-Twardy, a recent alumnus, has been awarded a Fulbright US Student Program Study Grant to study for a Master’s Degree in Music and Management at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Eli is 1 of only 46 U.S. students to study in the United Kingdom under the Fulbright program this year. He will study at Leeds under the director of Dr. Stephen Muir. Eli graduated in May 2015 with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Performance. Upon receiving this award, Eli stated, “Through studying modern arts administration infrastructure, and the illustrious Arts Council of England, I plan on using my Fulbright study grant experience in the United Kingdom to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to advocate for community building through the arts upon my return to the United States." As a student in the College of the Arts and an arts advocate, Eli has made significant impacts through his organizational work on the USF Tampa campus, as well as in the Tampa Bay community. He was President of the College of the Arts Council, and President and Founder of the USF Trombone Club. Eli also served as a volunteer for the Hillsborough County Arts Council, Music Theory Southeast and The Crossing Church in Brandon. During the summer of 2013, he traveled to Italy and France, where performed in international music festivals with the USF Bone Band.
Indira Ranaweera - 2015
Ms. Indira Ranaweera has been awarded a Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in Spain during the summer 2015 semester. She will be attending the University of Connecticut’s Neuroscience Study Abroad Program in Salamanca. As a student in USF’s 7-Year Medical Program, one of Indira’s main goals is to become fluent in Spanish before she graduates. She aims to use her bilingualism to be a more accessible physician to Spanish-speaking patients, domestically and internationally. Indira, a rising junior in the Honors College majoring in Biomedical Sciences, is also a very service oriented individual. She is the current President of the Honors College Student Council, a Student Ambassador for USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, and a Morale Committee Member for Bulls for the Kids, a student run philanthropy that benefits All-Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. Indira is also thrilled to soon become a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters. In Spain, she will be taking the course, Learning and Memory, for her Psychology minor, and Medical Spanish. Indira is certain that the coursework combined with the cultural experience in Spain will tremendously help her move towards her goal of becoming a well-rounded physician. Upon graduation, Indira plans to attend the Morsani College of Medicine to pursue an international medicine concentration.
Hiram Rios - 2015
Mr. Hiram Rios, an alumnus, has been named a Pickering Undergraduate Fellow for 2014 by the United States Department of State and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Hiram is 1 of only 20 undergraduate students in the United States to receive the award. The fellowship gives up to $40,000 annually for educational expenses for two years, a paid internship with the Department of State and a U.S. Embassy overseas, mentoring, and a minimum five year appointment as a Foreign Service Officer. With the funding from the Pickering Fellowship, Hiram is now pursuing a Master of Public Policy, International and Global Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Hiram is a May 2015 graduate of the Honors College and College of Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Studies and a minor in Chinese Language. Hiram has won three prior national awards and is a recipient of the Boren Scholarship, the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, and Critical Language Scholarship, which all supported his Chinese language study in China. Originally from Puerto Rico, Hiram is fluent in English and Spanish. He plans to earn a Ph.D. in Economics and work for the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer under the Economic Officer track, which will fulfill the government service requirement of the Boren Scholarship. His ideal job would be working in a US Embassy in China.
Muhaimen Shamsi - 2015
Mr. Muhaimen Shamsi, an international student from Bangladesh and an Honors College senior majoring in Computer Science and Engineering, is one of only 300 students selected by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to participate in the prestigious Research Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE) Program. During his 12 weeks in Germany this summer, Muhaimen will work under a Ph.D. student on an artificial intelligence research project focused on evaluating and optimizing the collaborative behavior of robots for space missions. His internship will involve the application of theoretical research results on real-world robots to overcome problems such as dynamic domain, noisy sensors, non-deterministic actions, unreliable communication, and limited resources. Muhaimen is currently a student assistant for Dr. Alfredo Weitzenfeld in the Bio-Robotics Lab, where he also works with the RoboBulls initiative. As a team leader for RoboBulls, Muhaimen has dedicated a lot of his time and energy to preparing the RoboBulls team to compete this July in the RoboCup—a worldwide robotics initiative that promotes robotics research. He has also contributed to the research Swarm Formation algorithms with Dr. Luther Palmer. Additionally, Muhaimen serves as a USF GloBull Ambassador, through which he inspires his fellow Bulls to study abroad by sharing his study abroad experiences with them. Upon graduation, Muhaimen hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering and a career in computer research.
Shelby Thomas - 2015
Ms. Shelby Thomas, an Honors College senior majoring in International Business and International Relations at the University of South Florida, was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Intermediate level Japanese in Hikone at the University of Shiga Prefecture for eight weeks this summer. Shelby believes that as the United States' interests in the Pacific Sphere become ever more important in this complex world, continuing to expand on the United States’ friendship with Japan is crucial for this reason. Through the CLS program, Shelby hopes to build on her Japanese language in the hopes that as a potential future Foreign Service Officer, she can assist in maintaining and building the United States’ relationship with Japan through their people. Shelby is also a recipient of the Fulbright UK Summer Institute Program to Wales, where she studied at Aberystwyth, Cardiff, and Bangor Universities and conducted empirical and observational research on Welsh business practices. She is an Independent Contract Consultant for Appen Buttler Hill where she reviews and rates social media content to support measurement of data relevance. She has also served as a public archeology intern for George Washington Foundation’s Ferry Farm and an office intern for the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners. In addition, Shelby has served as a site leader for Bulls Service Breaks, spent the fall 2014 semester studying abroad at Kansai Gaidai University and is a recipient of USF’s College of Business’ 25 under 25 award.
Elizabeth Brown - 2014
Elizabeth Brown has been awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to Germany to continue her geological oceanography doctoral research at MARUM (Marine Environmental Studies) at the Universität Bremen, under the direction of Dr. Michael Kucera. Elizabeth is one of only 75 students to receive a full grant to Germany under the Fulbright program this year. Elizabeth will explore the concept that a sub-tropical fossil plankton (G. ruber), used as a chemical indicator of ancient ocean/climate conditions, may not be accurately interpreted by scientists. She plans to bring her background in paleontology to Dr. Kucera’s lab, and draw on his expertise in genetic analysis and cryptic evolution. Elizabeth received her master’s degree in Geological Oceanography from the University of South Florida and her bachelor’s degree in Geology from Amherst College in Massachusetts. Following her return to the United States, Elizabeth plans to defend her doctoral studies and then seek employment as a post-doctoral research fellow, allowing her to gain more experience in independent research, teaching and grant-writing necessary to become a professor in academic science. She hopes to also continue to study the German language, as well as continue her collaboration with MARUM in post-graduate projects.
Tiekeyla Francois - 2014
Ms. Tiekeyla Francois, a junior majoring in marketing, was awarded the Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in Rennes, France. She will be studying French language and culture as well as taking business classes with the ESC Rennes USF Exchange Program. Ms. Francois is working towards a career in brand management. After graduation, she plans to complete the two-year MBA program in Operation & Technology Management at Boston University. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity. She also mentors orphaned children under the I Matter Too organization.
Jessica Goodman - 2014
Jessica Goodman has been awarded one of 10 Frost Scholarships to study at the University of Oxford. This is the first year for this scholarship which funds current students of the State University System of Florida for one-year, full-time Master’s courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Jessica has been accepted to study for the M.Sc. in Archaeological Science. She will live in St. Hugh’s College. Jessica, originally from Palm Harbor Florida, is a recent Honors College graduate with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Classical Civilizations. She speaks some German, excellent Hebrew, excellent Spanish and reads Latin and Classical Greek. She aspires to be a professor of Near Eastern Archaeology. Jessica is interested in Near Eastern Archaeology, particularly in the archaeology of the Levant during the Bronze and Iron Ages. She aims to develop a strong base for researching and analyzing interregional connections in the Near East. Through her academic pursuits, she will develop a new appreciation for the information hidden in material remains and for its archaeological and historical application.
Denise Marton - 2014
Denise Marton has been named a Pickering Graduate Fellow for 2014 by the United States Department of State and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Denise is one of only 20 undergraduate seniors and college graduates in the United States to receive the award. The fellowship gives up to $40,000 annually for educational expenses for two years, a paid internship with the Department of State and a U.S. Embassy overseas, mentoring, and a minimum five year appointment as a Foreign Service Officer. Denise is a student in the Honors College and College of Arts and Sciences; a senior double majoring in Economics, International Studies, minoring in French with a 3.99 GPA. She has been awarded the Siede Research Scholarship for Undergraduate Research, Mark T. Orr Endowment Scholarship, USF Tradition of Excellence Scholarship, and Aida Grimaldi Memorial Scholarship.
Mary Ogunrinde - 2014
Mary Ogunrinde has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grant to the Dominican Republic. The Fulbright ETA program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Mary is a USF graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in Elementary Education and ESOL. She received her bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Florida. Her experiences inside and outside the classroom have prepared her for this Fulbright experience. She participated in a summer internship with Great Commission Ministries in the Dominican Republic and was a Resident Assistant during her undergraduate degree at the University of Florida. She was also the president of Gator Christian Life and currently volunteers in a 3rd grade classroom at MK Rawlings Elementary. Upon her return to the United States she will graduate with her master’s degree and seek a teaching position either in the United States or in the Dominican Republic.
Alexander Parker - 2014
Alexander Parker has been awarded a Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in China during the summer 2014 semester. He will be studying Chinese language and culture with the Chinese Learning in the Culture: Tier 1 program. Alexander is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences; is a senior majoring in International Studies and minoring in Chinese, and working towards a career in international trade; specifically with China. He is a member of Pi Delta Psi Fraternity.
Roberto Roldan - 2014
Roberto Roldan has received a place on a Fulbright Summer Institute in the UK to study at Cardiff University, Bangor University and Aberystwyth University in Wales on one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programmes operating world-wide. Roberto is an Honors College sophomore pursuing a dual degree in Mass Communications and Government and International Relations. He began as a volunteer correspondent with USF’s The Oracle and became a News Editor for the paper. Roberto’s work with The Oracle this year will be recognized with a 2013 Green Eyeshades Award College Top 10 for Best Feature Writer in The South. Roberto has also participated in USF’s Society of Professional Journalists, USF’s Amnesty International chapter, Project Downtown and the Honors College Global Citizenship Program. He is currently working to restructure the U.N. General Assembly at USF. As a participant in the Fulbright UK Summer Institute to Wales, this program will allow Roberto to expand his international perspective and understanding of global issues while learning more about Welsh Universities and their respective contributions in preparation for his future in the media.
Sarah Seabrook - 2014
Sarah Seabrook has been awarded a Udall Foundation Scholarship for 2014, one of fifty in the country. The award is given for a commitment to the environment and awardees receive a $5,000 scholarship to support research related to the environment. Sarah also becomes a member of a national, professional network of scientists, activists, educators, lawyers and others working on environmental issues. Sarah is an Honors College junior double majoring in Marine Biology and Environmental Science and Policy. She has now won three national scholarships including the Gilman Scholarship for summer 2012 where she traveled to Indonesia for a research internship at Operation Wallacea, an environmental research and expeditions organization. She is also a 2012 recipient of the Hollings Scholarship for oceanic and atmospheric sciences sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Christie Campla - 2013
Ms. Christie Campla has been selected as one of 20 students nationally to be a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Oxford Cambridge Scholar. Campla, an Honors College senior double majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Spanish, and minoring in Chemistry will undertake a collaborative Ph.D. project in bioengineering with two research mentors; one at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) intramural campus in Bethesda, MD and one at either Oxford or Cambridge Universities in the United Kingdom.
She is also a 2011 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, the most prestigious national scholarship for undergraduates aspiring to a STEM research career; as well as a USF Holcombe First Generation in College Scholar, a USF Honors College Discovery Research Scholar and USF Scholastic Achievement Scholar. Campla intends to become a research scientist in the field of bioengineering and lead her own lab and research team, as well as teach at the University level after completing a Ph.D. and postdoc to prepare for a career in applied biomedical research.
Emily Colon - 2013
Emily Colon was awarded a Florida Gubernatorial Fellowship. She will spend nine months in this job placement fellowship working in a high-level position where her work will directly impact present and future state government with the Governor’s Office in Tallahassee, Florida. Ms. Colon is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration focusing on the multidisciplinary study of government with concentrations in the local, state, and federal agencies. In 2010, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International Business from USF. In 2012, she was selected to serve on the Leadership Team for Emerge Tampa Bay, a young professional leaders group through the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and also interned for City Manager John Schneiger. Previous, Ms. Colon was interning for Senator Marco Rubio in the regional office located in Tampa and working full-time in USF’s Office of Admissions. She was Vice President of New Member Education with Sigma Delta Tau, and served as a Big Sister mentor through Big Brother Big Sister of Tampa Bay. Prior to her arrival at USF, she was Captain of her NJCAA Division I Volleyball team at Manatee Community College for two years.
Nick Gunther - 2013
Mr. Nick Gunther of the University of South Florida has received an Honorable Mention for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Mr. Gunther is one of only 200 students to receive an Honorable Mention this year. Mr. Gunther is an Honors College junior majoring in Chemical Engineering with a 4.0 GPA. He was a finalist for the SMART scholarship to research and intern with the Department of Defense. He has received the Florida Academic Scholars Award, the University of South Florida Directors Award and the Chemical Engineering Alumni Award, a scholarship awarded to outstanding undergraduate Chemical Engineering students. Mr. Gunther will be interning with Ford Motor Company in Michigan this summer to work on prototype manufacturing. In the future, he plans to use his ability to identify and solve problems as an engineer combined with his knowledge of materials science to work as a biomedical engineer in research and the development of new products and biomaterials to solve plaguing health issues.
Trang Luong - 2013
Ms. Trang Luong, an Honors College sophomore majoring in Civil Engineering was awarded a DAAD RISE internship position on a civil engineering project in Weimar, Germany during the summer of 2013. She is the first international student at USF to win a national scholarship. She will be joining a research group of Ph.D. students at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Luong is one of only 300 students to receive a position this summer out of more than 2,000 applicants.
Luong came to USF as an INTO student from Vietnam in 2011 and is now enrolled as degree seeking USF student. She has been involved with research in the physics department with Dr. Manh-Huong Phan, worked as a site leader at Gandhi Day of Service and Bulls Service Breaks, and works as a math and science tutor at Tutoring and Learning Services and INTO USF.
Elizabeth Rasmussen - 2013
Ms. Elizabeth Rasmussen of the University of South Florida has received a James Madison Fellowship. The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation funds up to $24,000 of each Fellow’s course of study towards a master’s degree and includes a month long seminar on the constitution held at Georgetown University. Elizabeth is currently pursuing her master’s degree at USF in Curriculum and Instruction -Secondary Education, concentration in Social Studies with a 4.0 GPA. Elizabeth has been teaching since 2008 and currently teaches Social Studies to 9th and 12th grade students at Fort Meade Middle Senior High School. Her long term goal is to continue teaching high school social studies and inspire her students, no matter what subject she teaches them, to use their knowledge of the Constitution and Founding Documents to better support and facilitate their future learning in life.
Sarah Sharfstein - 2013
Ms. Sarah Sharfstein, an Honors College sophomore double major in Anthropology and Communications at the University of South Florida was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study intermediate Arabic in Morocco for nine weeks this summer. The Critical Language Scholarship award is fully funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The award also provides an orientation in Washington D.C. and language courses abroad during the summer of 2013. After graduation, she plans to work for the United States Department of State creating and maintaining diplomatic relations with Middle Eastern countries. Sharfstein is currently the Director of Community Service for Panhellenic, President of Junior Panhellenic, a member of the Chi Omega Women's Fraternity, and Alumnae Relations Chair for Chi Omega at USF.
Jennifer Stenback - 2013
Jennifer Stenback, an Honors College freshman pursuing a degree in Public Health and Provost’s Scholars, received a place on a Fulbright Summer Institute to study at University of Exeter on one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programmes operating world-wide. The Fulbright University of Exeter Summer Institute focuses on leadership, sustainability and the South West of England. Currently at USF, Ms. Stenback is a member of the Volunteer Committee for the Honors College Student Council and Fundraising Chair for Bulls for Moffitt. In high school she was Historian for the Spanish Competition Team, President of the Key Club, Secretary of the National Honors Society and Editor of the Yearbook Committee
Nadia Tenouri - 2013
Ms. Nadia Tenouri of the University of South Florida has been awarded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings scholarship. The Hollings Scholarship Program provides undergraduate students with awards that include academic assistance (up to a maximum of $8,000 per year) for full-time study during the 9-month academic year and a 10-week, full-time internship position during the summer at a NOAA facility. Nadia is also a past recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Japan. Nadia is an Honors College sophomore majoring in Environmental Biology. She placed first in the Sixth Mid-Florida Japanese Speech and Skit Contest and is currently involved in undergraduate research with Dr. Jason Rohr focusing on acquired resistance of amphibians to the chytrid fungus. Originally from Tampa, Florida, Tenouri hopes to facilitate the formation of a world where people can live in harmony with the environment and where problems such as depleted resources, deforestation, pollution, and endangered species are addressed seriously. She plans to earn a Ph.D. while doing research on how to enhance populations of threatened and endangered species. Nadia would like to work for a government agency like NOAA or the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission continuing to research and in effect, implement more effective conservation policies.
Brittany Vosler - 2013
Ms. Brittany Vosler of the University of South Florida has been awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to continue her doctoral dissertation research at the University of the West Indies –Cave Hill in Barbados. Brittany is one of only two students to receive a full grant to Barbados under the Fulbright program this year. Focusing on the British Caribbean, and specifically Barbados, Brittany will research how Pan-Africanism and other internationalist ideologies connect local struggles against colonial rule with global politics under the mentorship of Dr. Frederick Ochieng-Odhiambo at the University of the West Indies. Brittany received her master’s degree from USF in History and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida in History and English Literature. Upon her return to the United States, Brittany plans to use her extended research in Barbados to complete her dissertation under the supervision of Professor Fraser Ottanelli. Her future career goal is to teach British history and Caribbean history at the University level. This Fulbright research opportunity will allow her to foster relationships with Barbadian scholars and students to help achieve this goal.
Pedro Zamora - 2013
Pedro Zamora, a student from the University of South Florida has received a place on a Fulbright Summer Institute to study at the University of Dundee and the University of Strathclyde in Scotland on one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating world-wide. Pedro is an Honors College sophomore pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. He currently participates in undergraduate research with Chemodiversity faculty at USF, is a Resident Assistant for USF Housing and Residential Education, and was a Leader on the Honors College Alternative Spring Break to Puerto Rico, as well as a Site Leader for a USF Bulls Service Break to Texas, assisting with the construction of homes damaged by hurricanes. He is also a mentor and tutor for the College Assistant Migrant Program (CAMP) and interned at a health clinic with the Student Action with Farmworkers, an organization centered at Duke University.
Zak Boggs - 2012
Mr. Zak Boggs, a University of South Florida graduate (BS in Biomedical Sciences and MS in Marketing) has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Study Grant scholarship to the United Kingdom.
Mr. Boggs will pursue a Master's Degree in Medical Sciences at Leicester University under the mentorship of Dr. Ian Eperon, examining potential cancer treatment pathways through mRNA splicing. He is currently a professional soccer player with the New England Revolution of the Major League Soccer (MLS) and was recently recognized as Major League Soccer Humanitarian of the Year. Mr. Boggs aspires to earn an MD/PhD degree and hopes to be a contributor to cancer research.
While at USF, Mr. Boggs was the Captain of the Men's Soccer Team and was honored as the USF Student-Athlete of the year, the Big East Scholar-Athlete of the year, and as an ESPN 1st Team Scholar All-American. He was also awarded the John Wooden Citizenship Cup by Athletes for a Better World. Boggs has an extensive community service record with Moffitt Cancer Center, Boston Children's Hospital, and as a volunteer assistant coach for the Foxboro High School Soccer team.
When asked about his motivation, Mr. Boggs speaks lovingly and passionately of the grandmother he lost to cancer and the contribution he hopes to make to patient centered treatments and cures. These passions are rooted in Zak's upbringing in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains (in Vienna, West Virginia), an area infamous for its cancer clusters.
Shaza Hussein - 2012
Ms. Shaza Hussein, an Honors College junior majoring in Chemistry and Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded the Udall Scholarship and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings scholarship. For the Udall Scholarship, she is one of 80 students who will receive $5,000 to go towards the cost of her undergraduate eduation. Ms. Hussein will receive the Hollings scholarship for two years to pay for the cost of her undergraduate education and will also be placed in a paid summer internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She plans to obtain a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science and pursue a career researching climate change. Ms. Hussein is a recipient of the USF College of Arts and Sciences Dean's List, a USF Presidential Scholar and a member of the Student Environmental Association, Students for Social Justice and the American Meteorological Association. She also participates in an undergraduate research study focusing on hurricane evacuation.
Ila Jones - 2012
Ms. Ila Jones, as a sophomore majoring in Public Health, was awarded the Fulbright UK Scholarship to study in Wales at the Wales Summer Institute. She was one of eight freshman and sophomores chosen for the Wales Summer Program and during the program, visited three universities and many historical sites. Ms. Jones is interested in global health as a career. She is a member of USF Rotaract and is a student assistant for the USF Naval ROTC Program.
Brittany Kenny - 2012
Ms. Brittany Kenny, a junior double majoring in Political Science and History was awarded $3,500 through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Germany. Kenny will study abroad at Freie Universitat -Berlin to learn the German language and immerse herself in the German culture.
Like all Gilman winners, Kenny must complete a follow-on project to promote studying abroad and the Gilman scholarship. Kenny hopes to accomplish this by maintaining a newspaper article in print and online with her hometown's newspaper, St. Cloud in the News.
Sayeef Mirza - 2012
Mr. Sayeef Mirza, an Honors College senior majoring in Biomedical Sciences at the University of South Florida was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Salalah, Oman for 10 weeks this summer. Mr. Mirza is a participant of the Honors College 7 year BS/MD Accelerated Program. He is also taking courses to complete a Master's of Public Health degree, with a concentration in Global Health. He currently participates in undergraduate research with Dr. John Koomen at Moffitt Cancer Center, researching Proteomics, Experimental Therapeutics and Molecular Oncology. Mr. Mirza was also a participant in Moffit's SPARK Program, a highly selective and competitive research program for undergraduate students. He also currently works at Moffitt Cancer Center for Leaders in New Knowledge - Project LINK. As a student leader, Mr. Mirza was Vice President of Student Affairs in the Muslim Students Association and was the President of Project Downtown (a feed the homeless initiative). Mr. Mirza participated in an Honors College class and service-learning trip to Panama. During the service-learning trip, he volunteered at an infant nutrition clinic in Panama. His future career goal is to be a "physician for the world". He plans to work with international health agencies and global relief organizations so that he may be part of the "force that alleviates injustice and suffering abroad".
Luis Saavedra - 2012
Mr. Luis Saavedra a junior majoring in Biology was awarded $4,500 through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Chile. Saavedra will study abroad at the Universidad de Diego Portales -Santiago, where he will take courses in Chemistry and Biology to fulfill requirements in his major. Like all Gilman winners, Saavedra must complete a follow-on project to promote studying abroad and the Gilman scholarship. Saavedra hopes to accomplish this by working with high school students under the Avid/College Link Program.
Ryan Salazar - 2012
Mr. Ryan Salazar of the University of South Florida has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Study Grant scholarship to the United Kingdom.
Mr. Salazar, a senior Honors College student majoring in Music Education will pursue a Master's Degree in Music Education at the Institute of Education at the University of London under the mentorship of Professor Lucy Green. Originally from St. Petersburg, Florida, Mr. Salazar's commitment to make a difference for children in the public schools is deep and passionate. He plans to earn a Ph.D. in education and pursue a career in public education.
Mr. Salazar has been recognized with the USF Undergraduate Research Award for his work with Dr. Clint Randles in the fields of informal music pedagogy, innovative musical practices, and teacher preparation and was selected as one of 20 students from a student body of over 46,000, nominated by faculty in 2011, to receive the prestigious Golden Bull award. The Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers recognized Ryan's scholarship by selecting him from a national pool as one of 30 students to attend the Institute in 2011. In addition to his academic achievements, Mr. Salazar has taught all grade levels K-12 in three different school Districts as a reading tutor, substitute teacher, and a marching band instructor.
Tamara Simunovic - 2012
Tamara Simunovic, a senior majoring in International Studies was awarded a Summer Course Grant through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship. While studying abroad in Germany, she will take classes on international relations and international law. Ms. Simunovic hopes the experience will bring her closer to becoming fluent in German (her third language). She plans to continue her studies in law school and pursue a career in international relations with the Department of Defense. Last summer (2011), she interned at the US Embassy in Croatia.
Charles Dillon Swift - 2012
Mr. Charles Dillon Swift of the University of South Florida has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Study Grant scholarship to Germany.
Mr. Swift, a senior majoring in Trombone Performance, will pursue a one year Master's Degree in Musical Instrument Training in Germany. He will study at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater Rostock under renowned classical trombonist Jamie Williams. Mr. Swift has been recognized at USF with the Presser Award, given to the most outstanding music undergraduate student at a University as selected by the President of the University and the Head of the Music Department. He has also been awarded the USF Presidential Scholar Award, the Dorothy M. Smith Music Scholarship and a USF Talent Grant. Originally from Satellite Beach, Florida, Mr. Swift is an accomplished musician and has studied and performed at Classical Music Festivals in Eisenstadt, Austria, Greensboro, North Carolina, Hot Springs, Arkansas, and with the London Symphony Orchestra. By studying music within the culture of Germany he hopes to gain a wider perspective and greater understanding of music, which will positively affect his professional life and those who he will collaborate with. He hopes that the unique experience he will have in Germany will make him a valuable asset in both performing and teaching music. He would like to teach on the university level and perform in a full time orchestra.
Lauren Townsend - 2012
Townsend is an Honors College senior majoring in Philosophy. She was awarded a USF Golden Bull Award and was a participant at the Rutgers Summer Institute for Diversity on Philosophy. Townsend is a student assistant in the Office of National Scholarships and has been an Honors College Peer Mentor. She was the President of the German Culture Club and the Treasurer for the Philosophy Organization and the Mock Trial Club. Townsend was the Student Coordinator for the Lead Fellows and has been a part of the Honors College Student Advisory Committee.
She has presented her research at the Georgia Southern University Undergraduate Conference and the USF Undergraduate Research Colloquium and Symposium. Her publication in The Indefinite Dyad “Special Obligations: A Feminist Perspective” is forthcoming. Townsend plans to pursue her graduate degrees in Philosophy, with the career goal of becoming a professor of Philosophy.
Ryan Walsh - 2012
Mr. Ryan Walsh, a recent Honors College graduate who majored in History, was awarded an English Teaching Assistantship to South Korea through the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Program. Mr. Walsh is currently teaching English for one year in South Korea, living with a family during his stay. After his Fulbright grant period, Mr. Walsh plans to study history at the graduate level and begin the process of becoming a Foreign Service Officer. Prior to his Fulbright experience, Mr. Walsh lived in China for one year participating in the Chinese language and culture program at Nankai University. He has worked with the USF Education Abroad Office as the Asia Program Coordinator and with INTO USF as an English Conversation leader.
John Strasser - 2011
Mr. John Strasser, a senior majoring in Religious Studies is a finalist for a Fulbright ETA grant to teach English in Malaysia. He has also been nominated for a Golden Bull Award. Mr. Strasser is currently in India pursuing his research passions. He is a non-traditionally aged student who has overcome addictions and developed a stellar scholarly and service record. Mr. Strasser founded and leads a Charitable Organization, Books for South Asia, that collects and sends children's books to South Asian Youth. He is the coordinator for two juvenile drug rehabilitation centers, a leadership position that enables him to inspire teens to make better choices in their lives. He is a speaker and teacher for ACTS Hillsborough County Adult Detox, a drug and alcohol detoxification unit, helping residents understand their condition and seek further assistance upon discharge. He is also speaker and teacher for Hillsborough County Jail where he acts as a liaison between the jail program's coordinator and recovering addicts who seek opportunities to speak in the jail.
Jean Weatherwax - 2011
Ms. Jean Weatherwax of the University of South Florida was one of 36 American students awarded a Marshall Scholarship. Weatherwax, an Honors College senior majoring in Electrical Engineering, will pursue a Masters' in Electrical Engineering, with an emphasis on biomedical devices at the Imperial College of London. She will be working with Dr. Pantelis Georgiou. Last summer, she was a Goldwater National Scholar. As part of this program she was an intern at the NASA Ames Research Center where she was involved in research that developed a microcontroller-based automation system for grapheme synthesis, as well as development of a grapheme-based neural stimulator for PC12 cell activation. After completing her master's degree, she intends to earn a Ph.D. and become a full-time research professor at a university, both teaching and conducting research on biocompatible electronics. She hopes to be an inspiring professor to the next generation of engineers as well as make an impact on the quality of medical devices.