Graduate Student Spotlight


A record ten University of South Florida (USF) students have been awarded grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to spend the 2022-23 academic year abroad teaching English, undertaking an independent research project or pursuing graduate study. Congratulations!

Yoel Gebrai

Yoel Gebrai, doctoral student in the College of Engineering

Stephan Hassam

Stephan Hassam, doctoral student in the College of Arts and Sciences

Dove Wimbish

Dove Wimbish, doctoral student in the College of Education

Three of the ten students, pictured above, are current doctoral students and another three are recent graduate alumni.

Read more from the Office of National Scholars

MPH student wins biosecurity competition

Nick Cropper

Nick Cropper, MPH student

Congratulations to College of Public Health MPH student Nick Cropper, who was part of a three-person international team to win the Next Generation for Biosecurity Competition. 

The competition was sponsored by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) in partnership with several other global health security organizations. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan global security organization based in Washington, D.C., focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity.

Read more from the College of Public Health

Doctoral student veteran receives Tillman Scholarship

Rio Tate

Congratulations to doctoral student veteran Rio Tate, who recently received a 2022 Tillman Scholarship through the Pat Tillman Foundation! A College of Behavioral & Community Sciences doctoral student and United States Air Force veteran, Tate is one of only 60 US service members to earn this national recognition.

Read more from the USF Newsroom

PH.D. STUDENT AWARDED department of defense scholarship

Congratulations to Physics Ph.D. Student Noah Schulz, who was awarded a scholarship under the Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program. The SMART Program, funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), is a combined educational and workforce development opportunity for STEM students.

Ph.D. Candidate awarded NOAA Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship

Natalia López Figueroa

Congratulations to Ph.D. Candidate Natalia López Figueroa, who was awarded a Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship administered by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management!

"The two-year fellowship begins August 1, 2022 and will support López Figueroa’s dissertation work on Cassiopea in the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (JBNERR) in Puerto Rico... The hallmark of this fellowship is a professional development, mentoring, and networking opportunities. Reserve mentors will help students network and make connections with the broader coastal management community. Fellows will also have regular training webinars and in-person training courses on searching for a job, project management, and leadership. Lopez-Figueroa is one of 18 fellows in this cohort announced by NOAA."

Read more from the College of Marine Science

Presidential fellow receives fulbright award

Stephan Hassam

Stephan Hassam in the field

Congratulations to Presidential Fellow Stephan Hassam (Ph.D. Candidate, History), who received a Fulbright Award for the 2022-23 academic year!

Mr. Hassam provided a brief description of his research: "While the Roman period is well documented in Sicily, it is less so in late antiquity. To understand the social and economic transformations on the island after the fall of the Roman empire, it is necessary to bring minor archaeological sites into dialogue with villas, ports, cities, and the routeways that connect them. My project uses spatial analysis to examine changes in spatial relationships of minor late antique sites through time to provide a nuanced vision of shifting landscapes after the fall of the Roman empire. Furthermore, the digital technologies used to map these sites and their inclusion in a GIS also serves to digitally preserve and disseminate this cultural heritage. The resultant map of lesser-known sites in eastern Sicily will be an excellent resource to scholars for research and local cultural heritage practitioners to plan and carry out management projects."

Graduate Students Recognized by NSF GRFP

Two USF graduate students have received accolades from the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), which recognizes outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievement in science and engineering research. Congratulations!

Dylan Halbiesen

NSF GRFP 2022 Awardee
Dylan Halbeisen

Chemical Oceanography
College of Marine Science
USF Advisor: Tim Conway

Rosemary Burkhalter-Castro

NSF GRFP 2022 Honorable Mention
Rosemary Burkhalter-Castro

Geological Oceanography
College of Marine Science
USF Advisor: Ali Graham

Ph.D. Student Awarded American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship

Prisca Lin, PhD Student at Morsani College of MedicinePrisca Lin, PhD Student

The American Heart Association (AHA) has awarded a two-year predoctoral fellowship to Prisca Lin, a PhD student in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. The award will go towards her project titled “Defining a Factor Induced Endothelial Tubulogenesis, Sprouting, and Pericyte Recruitment.”

Read more from USF Health

Graduate Students Honored at 2022 Student Research Award Luncheon

CBCS students honored at 2022 Student Research Award LuncheonPictured left to right: Gary Oliver, Aditya Chakraborty, Amanda Lewis, Jing Chen, Niralibel Patel, Nataly Innamorato, Angkana Lertpoompunya, Niveditha Nerlakanti, Leanne Stepchinski, Jonathan Rodriguez, Callie Hill, Dr. Ruth Bahr

Graduate Student Researchers were honored during the 2022 Student Research Award Luncheon, held in Discovery Hall in USF Research Park on April 25, 2022.

View details on the winning 2022 USF Graduate Research Symposium presentations here.

View details on the winners of the 2021 USF 3MT® Competition presentations here.

Winners Named for the 2022 Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Congratulations to this year's winners of the Graduate Assistant Oustanding Teaching Award!

Category: Arts and Humanities
Winner: Anna Stepanyan

Category: Education/Business/Social Science
Winner: Yeseul Kim
Honorable Mention: Khalia Jenkins 

Category: Health/Medicine/Behavioral Science
Winner: Carlyn Vogel
Honorable Mention: Kailey Rinaldi

Category: STEM
Winner: Jing Lin
Honorable Mention: Sadhu Moka

Doctoral Students on Multidisciplinary Cancer Research Teams

Mariyah Pressley and Fargam NeinavaieMariyah Pressley (left)  and Fargam Neinavaie (right)

Two papers from University of South Florida researchers demonstrate the emerging and strong collaborations between USF, Moffitt Cancer Center, Maastricht University, and Delft University of Technology.

Authors include Fargam Neinavaie, doctoral student in Integrative Biology; Arig Ibrahim-Hashim, M.D., doctoral student in Integrative Biology; and Mariyah Pressley, PhD candidate in Medical Engineering. The integrated multidisciplinary teams that contributed these two papers span continents, whole fields of biology and cancer, and career stages.

Read the full article from the College of Arts and Science's The HUB.

 Recent Ph.D. Graduates selected as finalists for the ‘Nobel Prize of Supercomputing’

Images courtesy of USF NewsroomLeft to Right: Jonathan Willman and Kien Nguyen Cong

A team of computational physicists and computer scientists led by researchers from the University of South Florida has reached a new milestone in supercomputing and was selected as a finalist for the field’s most prestigious award.

The team, led by Ivan Oleynik, professor in USF’s Department of Physics, along with recent Ph.D. graduates Kien Nguyen Cong and Jonathan Willman (pictured), utilized the 200-petaflop Summit supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the fastest supercomputer in the U.S., to explore how carbon atoms behave at extremely high pressures and temperatures.

Read more from the USF Newsroom.

USF 3 Minute Thesis® Winners Announced

2021 USF 3MT WinnersLeft to Right: Aditya Chakraborty, Jing Chen, Minglu Sun

The Office of Graduate Studies is pleased to announce the 2021 USF 3MT® Competition Winners:

First Place: Aditya Chakraborty
Title: A Data-Driven Analytical Process to Monitor Pancreatic Cancer Survival Time
College: Arts and Sciences
Department: Mathematics & Statistics
Major Professor: Chris P. Tsokos

Runner-up: Jing Chen
Title: Membrane Proteins: Starting From a Binary Switch
College: Arts and Sciences
Department: Cell Biology, Microbiology & Molecular Biology
Major Professor: Libin Ye

People's Choice: Minglu Sun
Title: The Effect of the Drug Abuse Prevention Programs on Domestic Violence
College: Arts and Sciences
Department: Economics
Major Professor: Andrei Barbos

PhD Students Part of Team Awarded 12th Annual Cade Prize

SPKL, LLCPhoto by Cade Museum: SPKL, LLC of Tampa, Florida won the 2021 Cade Prize for their invention, rbSEE blood flow monitor

The Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention has announced SPKL, LLC of Tampa, Florida as the winner of the 2021 Cade Prize, one of FL's most prestigious for innovation for their invention of a non-invasive blood flow monitor. The team includes Electrical Engineering PhD students Arindam Biswas, Abdul Mohaimen Safi, and Sadhu Moka.

Read more about the prize here. Read more about the startup and invention here. 

 Meet USF's first PhD Student in Genomics
Jan Dahrendorff

USF College of Public Health (COPH)'s first doctoral student in genomics, Jan Dahrendorff, shares his journey in a new video from USF Health. “Because of the interdisciplinary nature of genomics, you are able to work with people from so many different backgrounds together as a team. It’s a very good experience,” Dahrendorff says, “I think in terms of career outlooks, you have so much flexibility and are able to do and research what you want.”

Learn more about Dahrendorff and the genomics program on Youtube.

Meet the 2021-22 Fellowship Recipients

Fellow Collage

The Office of Graduate Studies is pleased to introduce many of our 2021-22 Fellowship Recipients. Learn more about the Fellows here. 

NSF GRFP and McKnight Fellow makes USF history as first Black woman Ph.D. graduate in Computer Science and Engineering

SHAMARIA ENGRAM, PhD in Computer Science and EngineeringShamaria Engram, PhD

Dr. Shamaria Engram has made USF history as the first Black woman to graduate with a doctorate in Computer Science and Engineering. While at USF, Engram received a number of prestigious fellowships and held a cybersecurity internship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory. She has since accepted a full-time position at the Lincoln Laboratory.

Read more about Dr. Engram's story here