University of South Florida

College of Education

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2023 Alumni Awards Graphic

USF College of Education announces recipients of 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards

The University of South Florida (USF) College of Education is proud to announce the recipients of the College’s 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Each year, the College of Education presents our Distinguished Alumni Awards to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our graduates. Recipients are selected by a committee of College of Education faculty, staff and administrators, as well as a representative from the Education Alumni Society leadership team, from nominations submitted by the USF community.

Each recipient will be recognized during the College of Education’s Distinguished Alumni Awards program scheduled for early May.

Brad Bernstein Headshot

Brad Bernstein

Brad Bernstein, Physical Education '10 med '15

Young Educator Alumni Award Recipient 

Mr. Brad Bernstein was born in Philadelphia, PA but lived in Tampa, FL for most of his life.  He is a graduate of Sickles High School in Hillsborough County in 2006.  After high school, he went to the University of South Florida and graduated with a degree in Physical Education in 2010 and later went back to the University of South Florida to get his master’s degree in Education Leadership & Policy Studies in 2014.  Go BULLS! 

Mr. Bernstein began his teaching career in Pinellas County Schools in 2010 at Calvin A. Hunsinger School, teaching Physical Education and Health Education to middle school and high school students who had extreme behavioral disorders or other extreme varying ability levels. After teaching there for 3 years, Mr. Bernstein was an Administrative Intern at Pinellas Park High School for 1 year.  In 2014, Mr. Bernstein became an Assistant Principal at Boca Ciega High School, where he worked there for 4 years.  In 2018, Mr. Bernstein moved to Countryside High School and became an Assistant Principal for Curriculum and the ISTEM Magnet Coordinator. Go COUGARS!

Monica Ilse Headshot

Monica Ilse 

Monica Ilse, Counselor Education '98 MED '00 EDD '11

Spirit of Partnership Alumni Award Recipient

Dr. Monica Ilse has served as an educator for twenty-five years in Pasco County. She is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, a Master’s in Counselor Education, a Master’s in Educational Leadership, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She served as a counselor, high school principal, and now assistant superintendent of high schools.  She has provided support to schools from Pre-K through graduation. She has specialized in school improvement, building choice programs, and ensuring successful teaching and learning.  She supports students in post-secondary plans and goals.

She serves on the School Advisory Council at St. Leo University and provides adjunct instruction to students in the Educational Leadership doctoral program.  She is also a part of the new Education Alumni Society at the University of South Florida.

Monica is married to Chris Ilse, and the couple lives in Dade City.

Joyce Haines Headshot

Joyce Haines

Joyce Haines, Elementary Education '68 MA '77 PHD '89

Dean’s Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award Recipient 

Joyce Haines is a proud University of South Florida graduate, with all three of her degrees (B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.) earned at USF. She recently retired as an instructor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program in USF’s College of Education.  During her eleven years as a faculty member, Dr. Haines taught several courses including the Principalship, Principles of Administration and Analysis and Change, which she designed to be the first course in the administrative practicum sequence.  In addition to supervising several M.Ed. cohorts, she coordinated the master’s program, the Educational Specialist program and served on doctoral committees.  

Prior to teaching at USF, Dr. Haines was a classroom teacher, a curriculum specialist, and then principal of an elementary school in Tampa’s urban core which achieved national Blue Ribbon status. During the last ten years of her K-12 public school experience, Dr. Haines was the General Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the elementary schools in Hillsborough County Public Schools, which is the seventh largest school district in the nation.   As a member of the USF faculty, Joyce collaborated with and served as a resource for school districts on Florida’s west coast.  

Currently, Dr. Haines is a member of the board of directors of the Hillsborough Educational Foundation, where she serves on the advocacy committee, the program committee and is the Secretary of the Executive Board. 

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About the USF College of Education:

As the home for more than 2,200 students and 130 faculty members across three campuses, the University of South Florida College of Education offers state-of-the-art teacher training and collegial graduate studies designed to empower educational leaders. Our college is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and our educator preparation programs are fully approved by the Florida Department of Education.