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USF international students earn their degrees and celebrate their next steps

More than 2,700 University of South Florida students earned their degrees during two ceremonies early this August. Represented within this group were students from 43 US states and dozens of international students representing over 83 countries.

International students were honored with their country sash during a private International Sash Ceremony hosted by the Office of International Services a few days before the official graduation ceremonies.

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 Among the graduating students included Garret Bowleg, who was recognized by the USF Alumni Association with the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Bowleg, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering, came to USF as an international student from the Bahamas, driven to become a role model in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) field for young girls back home.

During her time at USF, Garret gained membership into numerous student organizations including the Society of Women Engineers, Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, USF Ambassadors and Lead Fellows for the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement. She also secured internships with both the United Technologies Corporation and Lockheed Martin. Now, she is pursuing a full-time position at Emerson as part of their Engineers in Leadership Program, which will allow her to work abroad in Romania.

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Garret is not the only student with bright opportunities waiting after graduation. USF has boasted a high success rate when it comes to its students landing a job or continuing education after graduation. About 70% of USF alumni find full-time employment or are go on to pursue graduate studies within a year of graduation, international students included.

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Enlin Lo from Taiwan, first came to USF through the INTO Pathway program, and has graduated with her Masters of Science in Chemical Engineering. Now, Enlin is continuing her studies at the University of South Florida in the Chemical Engineering PhD Program.

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Henry Cheung from Hong Kong, graduated with his bachelor's degree in Physical Science. During his time here, he enjoyed attending the university's sports games including basketball and football. Now he is staying in the US for at least on year on Optional Practical Training (OPT). He says he is hoping to stay in the Tampa area and find employment as a physical education teacher.