Featured Students

Featured Students

Johanna PhelpsCongratulations to Johanna Phelps-Hillen – a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow

Johanna Phelps-Hillen, a 2nd year PhD student at the University of South Florida, works to integrate community engaged pedagogies into the technical writing classroom. As part of her research for her concurrent PhD in Rhetoric and Composition and Master of Public Administration, she examines traditions in service-learning to better understand the ways faculty and nonprofit/community representatives can best build democratic, reciprocal, and impactful curricula to enhance student learning outcomes and meet community determined needs. Read more >>


Joy PedrowFrom Victim to Advocate: How a Service-Learning Student Found Her Passion by Helping Others

When USF senior Joy Pedrow signed up for Tasha Rennels' Communications, Culture, and Community service-learning class last spring, she had no idea that she would unlock a part of herself about which she had previously had difficulty communicating. For the first assignment, Tasha asks her CCC students to reflect about their passions. Joy wrote about her interest in ministry and her involvement with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru); but she also wrote about her desire to help women. Read more >>


Beth PlakidasNo Filter: a Visually Arresting Campus–Community partnership

"I am still trying to negotiate and work out the experience and how it has affected me," said Elizabeth Plakidas, a Graduate Community Scholars Fellowship recipient regarding her summer project funded through the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships. The culmination of Plakidas's summer collaboration was an exhibition entitled No Filter at the William and Nancy Oliver Gallery in the USF Fine Arts Building. Read more >>


Isabel RodriguezDream becomes a Reality for Immigrant Students in Florida

Dr. Elizabeth Aranda, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Sociology, and her research assistant, Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez, are deeply involved in community-based research about the lives of immigrants and undocumented young people. Aranda regularly shares her research findings to help guide the political discussion of immigration reform. Read more >>


Tiffany GandolfoTiffany Gandolfo, friend of OCEP, helps launch OCEP Conversation Series

Recently, Tiffany Gandolfo, a doctoral candidate in Applied Anthropology, and great friend of the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships, together with Bonnie Silvestri, OCEP's Director of Strategic Communications, collaborated to launch OCEP's Conversation Series, which you can watch here. Gandolfo serves as President of the Graduate Student Applied Research Network, an organization started three years ago with advisory support from OCEP for graduate students who conduct applied research to connect across disciplines around topics related to community-engaged research. Read More >>


Melissa OrtizFeatured Student: Melissa Ortiz on Service-Learning

Ever wondered what it would be like serve your community while earning college credit at the same time? Just ask Melissa Ortiz, a senior here at USF. She's no stranger to service-learning courses, having been in two of them during her time as an undergrad. I sat down with Melissa to get a fresh take on the world of experiential learning outside the classroom and gain a better understanding of this high-impact* method of education. Read more >> 


Erika KozakFeatured Student: Erika Kozak on Internships

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be involved with preserving some of the most powerful stories in history? What about doing such important work and getting academic credit at the same time? Erika Kozak is more than familiar with the experience. As an undergraduate student here at the USF, she's scheduled to graduate this Spring with her BA in Humanities and Cultural Studies and a certificate in Film Studies. Read more >>


Homelessness Didn't Stop This 40-Year-Old From Earning Her College Degree

At 8 a.m., the University of South Florida campus is all but deserted. Most students won't start trickling in for another hour or so and Shawna Machado, 40, knows this is her chance. Read more >>


Tiffany GardolfoEngagement In Action: Service Learning Leads to More Opportunities

Tiffany Gandolfo is no stranger to community service. She has spent many hours as a volunteer and found kindred spirits in her service sorority, Gamma Sigma Sigma. However, before she came to the University of South Florida she had not had the opportunity to participate in a service-learning course. An Orlando native, she joined USF as a PhD student in the Anthropology Department Read more >>