About Us

Our Staff

 Leadership

Leslie Tod staff photo

 

 

Leslie Tod
Director
tod@usf.edu
Leslie Tod has worked at the University of South Florida since 2000 and in Undergraduate Studies for the Office of Academic Advocacy since 2013. She earned her undergraduate degree at Eastern Illinois University in Speech Communication and her M.A. degree from the University of South Florida in Communication. While at USF she has taught as an adjunct instructor for the Communication Department and served as an Academic Advisor and Lead Advisor in the College of Arts & Sciences. Prior to working at USF she spent several years in Higher Education in the UK at the Manchester Metropolitan University in the Centre for Human Communication, where she was a senior instructor and course manager.

Michelle Bombaugh staff photo

 

Dr. Michelle Bombaugh
Assistant Director
bombaugh@usf.edu
Michelle Bombaugh is the Assistant Director for the Office of Academic Advocacy. She has been at the University of South Florida since 2005 and with the Office of Academic Advocacy since 2014. She has worked in Undergraduate Admissions and served as a Lead Advisor in the College of Arts & Sciences. She currently serves as an adjunct instructor for Academic Foundations and the Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising. Michelle holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration as well as graduate certificates in Career Counseling and Leadership in Higher Education from the University of South Florida.

Kim Williams staff photo

Kim Williams
Data Specialist
kimwilliams@usf.edu
Kim Williams is the data specialist in the Office of Academic Advocacy. She has been at USF for 30 years. Ms. Williams has worked in Financial Aid and University Computing and was with the College of Arts and Sciences since its formation 23 years ago. She moved to Undergraduate Studies when the Office of Academic Advocacy was formed. Ms. Williams has extensive experience in academic advising, graduation certification, academic regulations and university policy.

 

Academic Advocates

Dees

Ashley Dees
dees@usf.edu
Ashley Dees is a First Year Persistence Advocate. Prior to joining the Academic Advocacy team in 2016, she served as an Academic Advisor at the University of South Florida for four years. Ashley holds a M.S. in Higher Education from Florida State University and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Curriculum and Instruction program with an emphasis in Higher Education at the University of South Florida.

Shepherd

Ginny Shepherd
shepherd3@usf.edu
Ginny Shepherd is a First Year Persistence Advocate. She has been with the University of South Florida since 2016 and previously worked with transition programs, mental health counseling, and study abroad. Ginny holds a M.Ed. in Counselor Education from North Carolina State University.

Ramirez

Zulmaly Ramírez
zramirez@usf.edu
Zulmaly Ramírez is a First Year Persistence Advocate. She has been with the University of South Florida since 2015 and has extensive background in areas of advising, counseling, student and academic services, admissions, and financial aid. She also serves as an adjunct instructor for Academic Foundations. Zulmaly holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from National-Louis University.

P Henry

Pedro Henry
phenry2@usf.edu
Pedro Henry is the Academic Coach for first year students. Pedro is a proud University of South Florida alumnus and holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to his current role, he worked at Florida International University's Center for Leadership and Service department. 
 

Henderson

Anthea Henderson
ahenderson1@usf.edu
Anthea Henderson is a Transfer Student Transitions Advocate. Her professional experience of 30+ years includes student leadership development, school counseling, mental health counseling, program evaluation, teaching, clinical supervision, consulting, and training. She is an adjunct instructor for the Counseling and Human Services Program at Hillsborough Community College and a Certified Program Evaluator. Anthea holds a M.A. in Psychology from Washington University and is a Doctoral Candidate in the Counselor Education and Supervision Program at the University of South Florida.

Callender

Michael Callender
mcallender@usf.edu
Michael Callender is a Progression to Graduation Advocate. He has worked at the University of South Florida as an undergraduate studies academic advisor and Academic Foundations instructor for over a decade. Michael holds a M.A. in Counseling Education and a Master's in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University as well as a graduate certificate in Higher Education from the University of South Florida.

Vest

Anna Vest
nalitova@usf.edu
Anna Vest is a Progression to Graduation Advocate. She has been with the University of South Florida since 2014, during which she served as an Academic Advisor for international students at INTO USF and continuers to serve as an adjunct instructor for Academic Foundations Seminar courses. Her background is in working with underserved student populations, coordinating college bridge programs, program development, and professional tutoring. Anna holds a M.S. in Counseling with specialization in Student Development in Higher Education from Central Connecticut State University. 

Wray

Sarah Wray
swray@usf.edu
Sarah Wray is a Progression to Graduation Advocate. She has worked at the University of South Florida as an Academic Advisor for more than six years before joining the Office of Academic Advocacy in 2016. Sarah is a proud alumna of the University of South Florida, where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in English. In her prior role, Sarah worked with students at the University of South Carolina's School of Medicine.

 

Major Reselection Coordinator

McKenzie

Deborah McKenzie
dmajor@usf.edu
Deborah McKenzie is the Program Coordinator for Major Re-selection. She enjoys working with exploratory students on career assessment, occupational exploration, academic and career decision-making, and solution-focused planning. Deborah has published research on major changing students and has 10 years of experience in advising and teaching students exploring majors as well as in career counseling. Deborah holds a M.A. in Guidance and Counselor Education from the University of South Florida, where she is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

 

Exploratory Curriculum Major Advisor

Combs

 

Shane Combs
shanecombs@usf.edu  
Shane Combs is the Exploratory Curriculum Major Advisor for first- and second-year students. He is dedicated to helping students make their own decisions regarding academic plans, career goals, and most importantly their major of choice. In his prior role with the Collier Student Success Center in the USF Muma College of Business, Shane helped students obtain internships and careers with companies like Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Raymond James, Goldman Sachs, Disney, and more. Shane is a proud alumnus of the University of South Florida, where he earned a Master of Business Administration and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.

 

Intake Coordinators

Caruso

Alicia Caruso
Alicia Caruso is a second year Graduate Assistant. She is a proud alumna of the University of South Florida, Saint Petersburg campus, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Literature and Cultural Studies, as well as a minor in Leadership Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree at the University of South Florida.

 

Cesar Staff Photo

 

Cesar Cruz Benítez
Cesar Cruz Benítez is a first year Graduate Assistant. Originally from Westbury, New York, he is a recent graduate from Swarthmore College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Educational Studies. Cesar is pursuing a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in College Student Affairs, at the University of South Florida.