Alumni Spotlights

Almni Spotlight Ashley Marie Black

Ashley-Marie earned her BA in Psychology from the University of South Florida, Tampa campus in 2020. She was our star media intern, helping us with outreach to psychology students, faculty and alumni. She is currently working as a registered behavior technician and preparing for graduate school.

Key takeaways from her time at USF

Ashley-Marie was deeply engaged outside of the classroom while at USF. “Some of my key memories at USF involve getting to know classmates, fellow student coworkers, professors and supervisors… Getting involved with internships, student organizations, clubs and dance teams also added to my USF experience.”

“Try on” different pathways

“As a student trying to decide what career pathways to eventually take, interning and courses that helped me decide and also interested me, was one of the best choices I made.”

Advice for current students

"Remember that it is okay to not have everything figured out all at once. You may lean toward one direction and at some point, lean in the opposite. Change is inevitable. Once you find the direction that is for you, do not waste time and go for it."

Alumni Spotlight of Ash Gillis

Ash is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Vanderbilt University where they
work on issues related to the political depolarization of climate change. After
graduating with a BA in psychology in 2014, Ash earned a Master of Science in
Psychology from University of North Florida and PhD in Psychology from Penn State University.

Key takeaways from their time at USF

Working across multiple psychology labs at USF while taking electives on climate
change molded Ash into the researcher they are today.

Combining passion with preparation is key to success

After developing a passion for research in Intro. Psych., Ash followed that passion by
working as a research assistant in multiple labs to prepare them to do research on issues they were passionate about studying.

Advice for current students

"It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do. Just put yourself out there, always stay curious, and trust that you will find your way."


Their work on the intersection of environmentalism and gender was mentioned by Stephen Colbert on his show! High impact, indeed!

Astrid Hilson

Astrid Hilson graduated Spring of 2020 from USF Tampa with a Bachelor's in Psychology and a minor in Nutrition. Her goal was to find opportunity in the Tampa Bay region (her hometown) to use her training to secure a position in either the mental health or public health field.

Key takeaways from her time at USF

Astrid demonstrated her commitment to her goal by doing internships with Metropolitan Ministries, the Crisis Text Line, the Tampa Psychology Group, and working as a College Peer Health Educator at USF while she was a student.

Advice for current students

"Get as involved as possible- meet your professors (they are your friends!), volunteer and find internships, and participate in events that the Psychology Department hosts. I am proud to be apart of the Psychology Alumni community, and as always, GOBULLS!"

Astrid said she struggled finding employment during the pandemic but she happily reports that she has been hired by DACCO Behavioral Health to serve in a role in prevention counseling!

Stick with it, Bulls!

David Doan

David is currently a Management Consulting Manager in the Health practice at Accenture. After graduating with a BA in psychology in 2000, he earned a Master of Science degree, Master of Business Administration degree and PhD.

Key takeaways from his time at USF

David's fond memories while at USF include his completion of his psychology honors thesis and as Vice President for Psi Chi, working in the psychology building brainstorming how to provide meaningful networking events for students.

USF provides a foundation for the rest of your life

David applied the concepts and theories learned in psychology curriculum in nursing and health care. He also applies what he's learned when communicating and interacting with others using therapeutic communications and addressing one's needs.

Advice for current students

"Learning is a journey and a process. Take time to apply what you learn at the moment. Network with your fellow students and professors. Capitalize on the numerous educational, networking, and social events that the Psychology department and USF offer. Your undergraduate years are when you cement your core personality and identity while exploring and affirming your passions."

You can go far, Bulls!

Denise Latoya Wilkinson

A native of Jamaica, Denise earned her BA in Psychology at the University of South Florida in 2012. She also acquired a non-credit certificate in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Utah.

Key takeaways from her time at USF

Some of her fondest memories were time spent with friends at USF. “You will develop life-long relationships while you are in college.”

Following a path toward happiness

Denise became a child care worker at a psychosocial rehabilitation facility for adolescents in Chula Vista, California, where she worked for 2 years. She is currently self-employed as an author, and enjoys time with her young daughter.

Advice for current students

"You could have moments where you doubt your confidence, don't let that stop you from following your heart ❤ ."

Find your own path to happiness, Bulls!

Katherine Anderson

Katharine is a proud 1993 USF Psychology graduate and 2017 winner of the USF Distinguished Undergraduate Psychology Alumni Award! She is Director of Corporate HR for Scientific Games and married to her wife of 24 years, Nicole, who is also an alumna of USF. Her Bulls connections are connections for life.

Psychology provides a solid foundation for today’s opportunities

As someone driving corporate efforts around Diversity and Inclusion, Katharine credits the foundation she gained in her major. "(Students) learn about the social bases of human behavior. Individuals who choose to study multicultural psychology develop an understanding how cultural issues can lead to miscommunication which is a prevalent area of focus within HR."

Advice for current students

"If you are truly interested in a particular area and you don’t succeed in it the first time, do it again until you master it. We always hear the saying when one door closes another door opens. If that closed door is the path you want, go and open it again. That is how doors work. We shape our own destinies and can continue forward on the path we choose rather than allowing one to be chosen for us."

You are building the skills to open doors, Bulls!