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Maude Graham

Student Spotlight: Maude Graham

When she was 9-years-old, Maude Graham dreamed of replacing the lined-up teddy bears in her bedroom with her own classroom of students. Today, she’s an experienced third-grade reading teacher at Rosabelle W. Blake Academy and was honored as the 2021 Polk County Teacher of the Year—a recognition that’s reserved for only one out of 6,800 educators in the county’s school district.

April 14, 2021Student Life

Kianna Pintado

Student Spotlight: Kianna Pintado

Having witnessed the impact education had at home, Kianna Pintado began her academic journey years later as an elementary education major at the University of South Florida.

March 3, 2021Community Engagement, Student Life

Laura Meehan

Student Spotlight: Laura Meehan

Laura Meehan knew her passion for music and students with disabilities would guide her to make a meaningful difference. Driven to learn more about policy, Meehan took on leadership roles within her school and began working toward a PhD in Educational Leadership in USF's College of Education.

March 3, 2021Student Life

Donna Knudsen

Student Spotlight: Donna Knudsen, Ed.D.

A self-proclaimed "later-in-life" graduate student, Donna Knudsen didn’t think she could take her academic journey any further—until she discovered USF’s Ed.D. in Educational Program Development.

February 12, 2021Academics, Student Life

Julia Genkinger

Student Spotlight: Julia Genkinger

Julia Genkinger always knew she wanted to become a teacher. The USF graduate, who earned her bachelor’s degree in English Education, says she was eager to take on every opportunity she could while a university student.

January 26, 2021Alumni and Friends, Student Life

Sara Leikin

Student Spotlight: Sara Leikin

Dedicated to her role as director of a STEM schools project in Cairo, Egypt, USF graduate student Sara Leikin had no intention of pursuing a doctoral degree. When she learned about USF’s Doctor of Education in Educational Program Development, she felt confident in her ability to continue her studies from a distance.

January 14, 2021Student Life

Wilfredo Pena

Student Spotlight: Wilfredo Pena

Becoming a school counselor wasn’t something Wilfredo Pena originally set out to do. After earning his bachelor’s degree in special education from St. Petersburg College, Pena’s plan to continue his studies and work as a school administrator shifted when one of his mentors encouraged him to consider a career in counselor education.

November 17, 2020Academics, Student Life

Hillary Van Dyke headshot

Student Spotlight: Hillary Van Dyke

During her master's program at USF, Hillary Van Dyke's fascination with studying equity in schools grew and inspired her to pursue an unanticipated career direction—academic research and the creation of a not-for-profit organization that supports Black-owned businesses in the Tampa Bay community.

November 5, 2020Community Engagement, Student Life

Deeksha Aradhya photo

Student Spotlight: Deeksha Aradhya

After earning two degrees and pursuing a career in early childhood education within her home country of India, Deeksha Aradhya wanted to continue her studies to view the field through a research lens.

September 3, 2020Student Life

Cristina Viera

Student Spotlight: Cristina Viera

Establishing a career centered on history was what Cristina Viera aimed for when she started her college journey. After commencing a career in education, she transitioned to a civilian position with the Department of Defense (DoD). During her 12 years with the DoD, Viera realized teaching was her true calling.

July 15, 2020Academics, Student Life

Merritt Smith

Student Spotlight: Merritt Smith

At the start of her studies at USF, Merritt Smith overcame obstacles in earning her state of Florida teaching certification. Today, she is a soon-to-be graduate of USF’s Physical Education program who stands out amongst her peers by being recognized as the university’s 2019-20 Outstanding Intern of the Year.

May 28, 2020Academics, Student Life

Robert Bhoolai standing outside his school

Student Spotlight: Robert Bhoolai

Following a career change to teaching, Robert Bhoolai enrolled in USF's Educational Leadership master's program to learn how to better drive student learning and achievement.

March 26, 2020Student Life

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.