Administrative Team

Jose Zayas-Castro

Dr. Jóse L. Zayas-Castro  
Principal Investigator and Director 
Professor and Executive Associate Dean, College of Engineering


Dr. Jóse L. Zayas-Castro is professor of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering (IMSE) and executive associate d ean in the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida. He joined USF in 2002 as chair of the Department of IMSE. Prior to joining USF, Dr. Zayas-Castro was professor and graduate coordinator in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia. From 1983 to 1999, he was professor of industrial engineering at the University of Puerto-Rico-Mayagüez. During that time, he also served as department head and associate dean of engineering. Since 2014, Dr. Zayas-Castro has directed the University Center of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He is also principal investigator of the NSF Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate Activity and is co-principal i nvestigator of the USF NSF I-Corps site. Throughout his career, he has mentored more than 50 graduate students. His research focuses on healthcare systems engineering and improving the delivery of care, engineering entrepreneurship and innovation, economic and cost analysis, and improving engineering education.



Randy Larsen

Dr. Randy Larsen
Professor, Department of Chemistry, and and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship
College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Randy Larsen is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences.  He received his BS and then Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of New Mexico.  Dr. Larsen completed postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) prior to his first academic position at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Previously, he served as the Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of South Florida.  His research interests include the areas of sustainable energy (light porous materials), sustainable human health (molecular basis of disease), and sustainable communities (green chemistry).


Bernard Batson

Bernard Batson
Director, Diversity Programs, College of Engineering


Bernard Batson is the director of Diversity Programs for the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF). He is the day-to-day administrator for the USF Sloan UCEM. Batson supports Ph.D. national recruitment and retention/professional development initiatives. He also assists Sloan scholars and graduates with fellowship applications, internships at national labs and obtaining employment within government, industry, and academia. Working with other university partners, Batson also facilitates internships, summer research experiences, and graduate school application assistance for URM undergraduates.

For his efforts in fostering inclusive excellence in STEM, he has been recognized with the Florida Education Fund’s William Jones Mentor of the Year Award (2018, 2011, 2009), Mentor on the Map Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (2015), and the Alfred P. Sloan Mentor of the Year Award (2013).



 Wainella Isaacs

Wainella Isaacs
, Graduate Student Assistant




Jorge Acuna

Jorge Acuña Melo, Graduate Student Assistant




Tramaine Polk

Tramaine Polk, M.S.
Executive Assistant to Dr. Jose Zayas-Castro