Alumni Profiles

Alumni Spotlight


Evelyn Perez-Verdia
Class of 2002
BA in International Studies

What is your fondest memory of USF?

My fondest memory of USF was my mentor Joan Newcomb who worked at the International Studies Department, and was my adviser when I arrived at USF. I wanted to work in Washington D.C. but did not even have the money to do an internship. That is how she connected me to USF’s Legislative Internship Program. Even after retiring she continued to be a mentor and friend. She was like a second mother to me, while my mother was far away in Colombia. She taught me the importance of respecting all human beings, how to make a soufflé, and gave my daughter her first books when she was born. When she retired she was given a Waterford Crystal globe by students and teachers. Some days before she passed away, she gave the globe to me. I do not take the responsibility lightly. My most beautiful memory were all the professors, like Joan, who were always willing to help.

What was your favorite class or club?

My favorite class was business etiquette and international business where we learned cultural differences in business from one country to another.

Did your undergraduate experience at USF shape your future plans, and if so, how?

Yes. It was the path for what I work on now. I studied International Studies and now I focus on research, engagement and messaging to diaspora communities who come from Latin America, the Caribbean, and other countries.

Talk a bit about your company. What is your goal in your current role?

We Are Más is built on the concept of creating social change by helping government, non-profits or companies reach diaspora communities in the language a specific community is most comfortable with. We advise on messaging that is sincere, and that gives access to information as we live in times of mis- and disinformation. Our job is to analyze what our clientis are currently doing and research on how they can improve the message. We micro-engage diverse diaspora communities in their preferred language and through their culture, be it English, Spanish, Haitian Creole or other languages like Hindi or Portuguese. We believe in the importance of micro-engagement. We can’t wait for those we want to reach to find us.

What is one piece of practical advice you have for current students?

Live your life in a way that you will always be able to sleep peacefully due to a good conscience of your actions. If you have made a mistake in life, remember that we are all human, but please make a promise to yourself every day to be better than you were yesterday.

personal mementos

Why is being involved with USF as an alumna important to you?

It is important to me because I believe that we have a big responsibility to pay it forward, and leave a better society for our future. You go up, and you bring others up with you. That is why I donated to USF’s Legislative Internship Program. It changed my life. My heart hopes to change the life of someone like me who did not know what I wanted to do with my life, and feared of never being able to get out of poverty. I hope others will also remember to donate to USF if it has changed their life.

Is there anything else you would like to include?

I am grateful to the Dean of College of Arts and Sciences for the Trail Blazers Lecture Series that continues to show how important it is for USF to continue to change lives through knowledge. I also want to tell students to never be afraid to ask people for advice or help, no matter how important you may think they are. Most are looking to mentor others. And it never hurts to ask.